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The Finance Forum: Growth in a Back-to-Basics World

Thomas Fanning, executive vice president and CFO, Southern Co.
Fortnightly Magazine - October 15 2003

we have demonstrated this year to actually compete effectively in the market for customers who have choice for their energy supplier, and that is where the 8 percent customer growth comes from," Farell says.

In fact, Farell says Australia's contribution to the bottom line is "on the order of $70 million in after tax U.S. dollars. That is about 10 percent or so of our total earnings guidance for this year." In late September, the company said it was considering a partial float or initial public offering in 2004 of its Australian subsidiary to pay down debt and help fund growth.

As for Texas, TXU believes that the customer attrition rate will be below the 5 percent the company had earlier stated. "I think that was with the realistic view that we were the largest retailer in the market. I think the recent results would suggest that we are performing favorably against that expectation. I think our cost position is such that we are well positioned to secure some customer growth outside of our conventional area," he says. Certainly, of TXU's growth plans, it will be deeds and not words that matter.

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