Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. Announces Fourth Increase in Common Unit Distribution Coupled With Second Consecutive Record Quarterly Earnings

Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from Surburban Propane Partners, L.P.

    WHIPPANY, N.J., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Suburban Propane Partners, L.P.
 (NYSE:   SPH), a leading marketer of propane gas and related products and
 services nationwide, today announced an increase in its quarterly distribution
 from $0.5375 to $0.55 per Common Unit, coupled with record earnings for the
 three months ended March 31, 2001.
     The increased quarterly distribution -- the fourth such increase since the
 Partnership completed its recapitalization less than two years ago -- will be
 payable on May 15, 2001 to Common Unitholders of record as of May 7, 2001. It
 consists of the Minimum Quarterly Distribution of $0.50 per Unit plus an
 additional $0.05 per Unit. On an annual basis the distribution increases from
 $2.15 to $2.20 per Common Unit.
     Following the announcement of the distribution increase, President and
 Chief Executive Officer Mark A. Alexander said, "We're extremely pleased to
 continue to pass along to our Unitholders the benefits derived from the
 successful implementation of our long-term sustainable growth strategy. The
 strength of our capital structure allows us to pass these benefits on much
 sooner than most others."
     Second quarter fiscal 2001 results include the non-cash impact of
 Financial Accounting Standards Board SFAS No. 133, "Accounting for Derivative
 Instruments and Hedging Activities," which took effect in the first quarter of
 fiscal 2001. Including SFAS No. 133, net income for the three months ended
 March 31, 2001 increased $17.9 million or 45.5% to $57.2 million or $2.28 per
 Common Unit, as compared to $39.3 million or $1.73 per Common Unit for the
 three months ended March 25, 2000. Earnings before interest, taxes,
 depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased $18.1 million or 30.3% to
 $77.6 million as compared to $59.5 million for the prior year period.
     Excluding the effects of SFAS No. 133, net income for the three months
 ended March 31, 2001 increased $15.0 million or 38.2% to $54.3 million, or
 $2.16 per Common Unit, as compared to $39.3 million, or $1.73 per Common Unit,
 for the three months ended March 25, 2000. Comparable EBITDA increased
 $15.2 million or 25.5% to $74.7 million for the three months ended March 31,
 2001, compared to $59.5 million for the three months ended March 25, 2000.
     Retail sales volumes decreased slightly to 185.1 million gallons from
 191.9 million gallons in the prior year period. The decrease in volumes is
 primarily attributable to customer conservation efforts in response to higher
 selling prices which resulted from increased propane product costs.
 Temperatures nationwide in the second quarter of fiscal 2001 were 1% warmer
 than normal, as compared to 14% warmer than normal for the fiscal 2000 second
 quarter.
     Revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2001 increased $61.7 million
 or 21.2% to a record $352.6 million, compared to $290.9 million for the three
 months ended March 25, 2000. The increase in revenues is principally due to
 the aforementioned increase in selling prices.
     Combined operating and general & administrative expenses of $73.9 million
 increased $7.6 million, or 11.4%, primarily due to increased general operating
 reserves.
     In summarizing the quarter, Mr. Alexander said, "We are extremely pleased
 with these record earnings for the second quarter, which follow on the heels
 of our record first quarter. These results are quite an accomplishment given
 the general market conditions in which they were achieved. The entire Suburban
 team is to be commended for serving the needs of our customers while dealing
 with the harsh realities of winter and soaring energy prices that continue to
 present significant challenges of their own."
 
     Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. is a publicly traded Master Limited
 Partnership listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Headquartered in Whippany,
 New Jersey, Suburban has been in the customer service business since 1928 and
 is the nation's third largest propane gas marketer. The Partnership serves
 over 750,000 residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers
 through approximately 350 customer service centers in more than 40 states.
 Corporate news, unit prices and additional information about Suburban are
 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the company's web site:
 http://www.suburbanpropane.com. To receive news releases via fax:
 Dial 800-758-5804 and input extension 112074.
 
                Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. and Subsidiaries
                 Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
      For the Three and Six Months Ended March 31, 2001 and March 25, 2000
                     (in thousands, except per Unit amounts)
                                   (Unaudited)
 
 
                                     Three Months Ended   Six Months Ended
                                    March 31, March 25, March 31, March 25,
                                       2001      2000      2001      2000
 
     Revenues
       Propane                       $332,727  $271,160  $601,186  $445,168
       Other (a)                       19,881    19,720    45,505    46,174
                                      352,608   290,880   646,691   491,342
 
     Cost and Expenses
       Cost of sales                  201,149   165,033   370,287   267,474
       Operating                       64,669    59,372   129,046   114,661
       General and administrative       9,236     6,972    17,442    13,615
       Depreciation and amortization   10,019     9,884    19,605    18,890
       Gain on sale of assets              --        --        --   (10,328)
                                      285,073   241,261   536,380   404,312
 
     Income before interest expense
      and income taxes                 67,535    49,619   110,311    87,030
     Interest expense, net             10,265    10,243    20,253    19,642
 
     Income before provision for
      income taxes                     57,270    39,376    90,058    67,388
     Provision for income taxes            94        71       165        92
     Net income                       $57,176   $39,305   $89,893   $67,296
 
     General Partner's interest in
      net income                       $1,081      $786    $1,735    $1,346
     Limited Partner's interest in
      net income                      $56,095   $38,519   $88,158   $65,950
     Net income per Unit                $2.28     $1.73     $3.61   $2.96(c)
     Weighted average number of
      units outstanding                24,631    22,279    24,397    22,271
 
     Supplemental Information:
     EBITDA (b)                       $77,554   $59,503  $129,916  $105,920(d)
     Retail gallons sold              185,068   191,865   348,968   332,381
 
     (a)  Other revenues principally represent amounts generated from the sales
          of appliances, parts and related services.
     (b)  EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, income taxes,
          depreciation and amortization.  EBITDA should not be considered as an
          alternative to net income (as an indicator of operating performance)
          or as an alternative to cash flow (as a measure of liquidity or
          ability to service debt obligations) and it is not in accordance with
          nor superior to generally accepted accounting principles but provides
          additional information for evaluating the Partnership's ability to
          distribute the Minimum Quarterly Distribution or the increased
          quarterly distribution.
     (c)  Net income per Unit for the six months ended March 25, 2000 was
          $2.51, excluding the gain on the sale of assets.
     (d)  EBITDA for the six months ended March 25, 2000 was $95,592, excluding
          the gain on the sale of assets.
 
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SOURCE Surburban Propane Partners, L.P.
    WHIPPANY, N.J., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Suburban Propane Partners, L.P.
 (NYSE:   SPH), a leading marketer of propane gas and related products and
 services nationwide, today announced an increase in its quarterly distribution
 from $0.5375 to $0.55 per Common Unit, coupled with record earnings for the
 three months ended March 31, 2001.
     The increased quarterly distribution -- the fourth such increase since the
 Partnership completed its recapitalization less than two years ago -- will be
 payable on May 15, 2001 to Common Unitholders of record as of May 7, 2001. It
 consists of the Minimum Quarterly Distribution of $0.50 per Unit plus an
 additional $0.05 per Unit. On an annual basis the distribution increases from
 $2.15 to $2.20 per Common Unit.
     Following the announcement of the distribution increase, President and
 Chief Executive Officer Mark A. Alexander said, "We're extremely pleased to
 continue to pass along to our Unitholders the benefits derived from the
 successful implementation of our long-term sustainable growth strategy. The
 strength of our capital structure allows us to pass these benefits on much
 sooner than most others."
     Second quarter fiscal 2001 results include the non-cash impact of
 Financial Accounting Standards Board SFAS No. 133, "Accounting for Derivative
 Instruments and Hedging Activities," which took effect in the first quarter of
 fiscal 2001. Including SFAS No. 133, net income for the three months ended
 March 31, 2001 increased $17.9 million or 45.5% to $57.2 million or $2.28 per
 Common Unit, as compared to $39.3 million or $1.73 per Common Unit for the
 three months ended March 25, 2000. Earnings before interest, taxes,
 depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased $18.1 million or 30.3% to
 $77.6 million as compared to $59.5 million for the prior year period.
     Excluding the effects of SFAS No. 133, net income for the three months
 ended March 31, 2001 increased $15.0 million or 38.2% to $54.3 million, or
 $2.16 per Common Unit, as compared to $39.3 million, or $1.73 per Common Unit,
 for the three months ended March 25, 2000. Comparable EBITDA increased
 $15.2 million or 25.5% to $74.7 million for the three months ended March 31,
 2001, compared to $59.5 million for the three months ended March 25, 2000.
     Retail sales volumes decreased slightly to 185.1 million gallons from
 191.9 million gallons in the prior year period. The decrease in volumes is
 primarily attributable to customer conservation efforts in response to higher
 selling prices which resulted from increased propane product costs.
 Temperatures nationwide in the second quarter of fiscal 2001 were 1% warmer
 than normal, as compared to 14% warmer than normal for the fiscal 2000 second
 quarter.
     Revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2001 increased $61.7 million
 or 21.2% to a record $352.6 million, compared to $290.9 million for the three
 months ended March 25, 2000. The increase in revenues is principally due to
 the aforementioned increase in selling prices.
     Combined operating and general & administrative expenses of $73.9 million
 increased $7.6 million, or 11.4%, primarily due to increased general operating
 reserves.
     In summarizing the quarter, Mr. Alexander said, "We are extremely pleased
 with these record earnings for the second quarter, which follow on the heels
 of our record first quarter. These results are quite an accomplishment given
 the general market conditions in which they were achieved. The entire Suburban
 team is to be commended for serving the needs of our customers while dealing
 with the harsh realities of winter and soaring energy prices that continue to
 present significant challenges of their own."
 
     Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. is a publicly traded Master Limited
 Partnership listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Headquartered in Whippany,
 New Jersey, Suburban has been in the customer service business since 1928 and
 is the nation's third largest propane gas marketer. The Partnership serves
 over 750,000 residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers
 through approximately 350 customer service centers in more than 40 states.
 Corporate news, unit prices and additional information about Suburban are
 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the company's web site:
 http://www.suburbanpropane.com. To receive news releases via fax:
 Dial 800-758-5804 and input extension 112074.
 
                Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. and Subsidiaries
                 Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
      For the Three and Six Months Ended March 31, 2001 and March 25, 2000
                     (in thousands, except per Unit amounts)
                                   (Unaudited)
 
 
                                     Three Months Ended   Six Months Ended
                                    March 31, March 25, March 31, March 25,
                                       2001      2000      2001      2000
 
     Revenues
       Propane                       $332,727  $271,160  $601,186  $445,168
       Other (a)                       19,881    19,720    45,505    46,174
                                      352,608   290,880   646,691   491,342
 
     Cost and Expenses
       Cost of sales                  201,149   165,033   370,287   267,474
       Operating                       64,669    59,372   129,046   114,661
       General and administrative       9,236     6,972    17,442    13,615
       Depreciation and amortization   10,019     9,884    19,605    18,890
       Gain on sale of assets              --        --        --   (10,328)
                                      285,073   241,261   536,380   404,312
 
     Income before interest expense
      and income taxes                 67,535    49,619   110,311    87,030
     Interest expense, net             10,265    10,243    20,253    19,642
 
     Income before provision for
      income taxes                     57,270    39,376    90,058    67,388
     Provision for income taxes            94        71       165        92
     Net income                       $57,176   $39,305   $89,893   $67,296
 
     General Partner's interest in
      net income                       $1,081      $786    $1,735    $1,346
     Limited Partner's interest in
      net income                      $56,095   $38,519   $88,158   $65,950
     Net income per Unit                $2.28     $1.73     $3.61   $2.96(c)
     Weighted average number of
      units outstanding                24,631    22,279    24,397    22,271
 
     Supplemental Information:
     EBITDA (b)                       $77,554   $59,503  $129,916  $105,920(d)
     Retail gallons sold              185,068   191,865   348,968   332,381
 
     (a)  Other revenues principally represent amounts generated from the sales
          of appliances, parts and related services.
     (b)  EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, income taxes,
          depreciation and amortization.  EBITDA should not be considered as an
          alternative to net income (as an indicator of operating performance)
          or as an alternative to cash flow (as a measure of liquidity or
          ability to service debt obligations) and it is not in accordance with
          nor superior to generally accepted accounting principles but provides
          additional information for evaluating the Partnership's ability to
          distribute the Minimum Quarterly Distribution or the increased
          quarterly distribution.
     (c)  Net income per Unit for the six months ended March 25, 2000 was
          $2.51, excluding the gain on the sale of assets.
     (d)  EBITDA for the six months ended March 25, 2000 was $95,592, excluding
          the gain on the sale of assets.
 
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                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X18932143
 
 SOURCE  Surburban Propane Partners, L.P.

RELATED LINKS

http://www.suburbanpropane.com