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SEMCO Discusses 2001 Earnings Outlook

PORT HURON, Mich., July 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, SEMCO ENERGY (NYSE: SEN) reported on its earnings forecast for 2001 in a conference call with analysts and investors broadcast on the Internet. The Company's management noted that the analysts' current earnings per share consensus estimate for 2001 is approximately $0.90. Management stated that the estimate does not reflect the $0.06 per share impact of warmer weather during the second quarter or the $0.08 per share impact of higher gas costs and lower transportation revenue during the first half of the year. Management indicated it would be difficult, if not impossible, to make up these items and suggested that the total of $0.14 per share be factored out of current estimates.

Gas costs have been higher in 2001 as a result of purchasing gas with a higher thermal content than anticipated. However, this trend is now diminishing. Transportation revenue has declined because some of the Company's industrial and large commercial customers reduced their transportation volumes having switched to alternative fuels earlier in the year due to high natural gas prices. The softening of the economy and general conservation also contributed to the decrease in transportation revenue.

SEMCO ENERGY, Inc. is a diversified energy and infrastructure company that distributes natural gas to more than 367,000 customers in Michigan and Alaska. It also owns and operates businesses involved in natural gas engineering and quality assurance services, pipeline construction services, propane distribution, intrastate pipelines and natural gas storage in various regions of the United States. In addition, it provides information technology and outsourcing services, specializing in the mid-range computer market.

The following is a "Safe-Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Statements that are not historic facts, including statements about the Company's outlook, beliefs, plans, goals and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Factors that may impact forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the effects of weather, the economic climate, competition, commodity prices, changing conditions in the capital markets, regulatory approval processes, success in obtaining new business and other risks detailed from time to time in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

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SOURCE SEMCO ENERGY, Inc.
Web site: http: //www.semcoenergy.com
CONTACT: Analysts Contact: Sebastian Coppola, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, +1-810-989-4101, or Media Contact: Francis R. Lieder, +1-810-987-2200, ext. 4186, fax: +1-810-989-4098, E-mail: francis.lieder@semcoenergy.com , both of SEMCO ENERGY, Inc.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding SEMCO Energy's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.

 
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