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Laclede Group profit, sales decline from 2011

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The Laclede Group Inc., owner of Laclede Gas Co., said Friday that fiscal third-quarter revenue dropped sharply and profit fell 45 percent compared to last year, when asset sales boosted earnings.

Excluding that 2011 gain, the company said adjusted earnings rose 5 percent over last year.

Revenue plunged to $186.8 million from $344.3 million, which the company blamed partly on mild weather that hurt results at its gas-distribution utility.

Net income was $8.4 million, 38 cents per share, but would have been 40 cents per share excluding losses from derivatives, the company said. That was down from income of $15.4 million, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier, when the sale of excess propane inventories added $6.1 million or 27 cents per share to earnings.

Laclede Group, based in St. Louis, has about 625,000 residential and business customers in that area.

In afternoon trading, Laclede Group shares rose 57 cents at $41.36.