AEP optimistic about 2010 demand

28 January 2010 -- American Electric Power Co. Inc. (AEP) said it anticipates a modest turnaround coming in 2010.

Demand for power improved in 2009, the company said, but still remained weak for the year. Sales dropped by 6 percent, including a decline of nearly 16 percent for industrial customers. This year AEP says it expects overall consumption to grow by 1.6 percent, and by 5 percent among industrial customers.

AEP CEO Mike Morris cited both steel demand worldwide and better earnings at companies like Ford Motor as good signs for AEP.

The company said rate increases in Virginia, Indiana and Oklahoma helped to offset lower sales to industrial customers during the quarter.

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