Columbia, SC, February 16, 2006 - SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG) announced that its board of directors, at a meeting held today, raised the quarterly cash dividend on the Company's common stock to 42 cents per share from 39 cents per share, an increase of 7.7 percent. This action increases the indicated annual dividend rate to $1.68 per share from $1.56 per share. The Company has increased the annual dividend rate on its common stock for seven consecutive years and in 52 of the last 54 years. The new dividend is payable April 1, 2006 to stockholders of record at the close of business on March 10, 2006 for the quarter ending March 31, 2006.
"The 7.7 percent increase in the dividend approved by the board today reflects the improved financial results we recorded in 2005 as well as an improving cash flow position following completion of a significant construction program that included the $450 million, 875 megawatt Jasper County Electric Generating Station, which was completed in May 2004, and the $275 million Lake Murray back-up dam, which was completed in June 2005," said Kevin Marsh, senior vice president and chief financial officer. "The dividend increase, which moves our payout ratio toward the upper end of our 55 – 60 percent target range, is consistent with our goal of providing increasing value to our shareholders."
The board of directors also declared the regular quarterly dividends on the following series of cumulative preferred stock of South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), SCANA's principal subsidiary, for the quarter ending March 31, 2006:
$50 Par Value:
- 56 1/4 cents per share on the 4.50 percent Series
- 57 1/2 cents per share on the 4.60 percent Series A
- 57 1/2 cents per share on the 4.60 percent Series B
- 62 1/2 cents per share on the 5 percent Series
- 64 1/16 cents per share on the 5.125 percent Series
- 75 cents per share on the 6 percent Series
$100 Par Value:
- $1.63 per share on the 6.52 percent Series
Dividends on each series of SCE&G's cumulative preferred stock are also payable April 1, 2006 to holders of record on March 10, 2006. The 5 percent Series is the only series of cumulative preferred stock that is listed on the New York Stock Exchange - the trading symbol is "SAC Pr."
SCANA Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Columbia, SC, is an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses. Information about SCANA is available on the Company's Web Site at www.scana.com.