News Release
April 15, 1999

DUKE ENERGY CHAIRMAN TELLS SHAREHOLDERS THAT COMPANY WILL STAY AHEAD OF THE ENERGY FIELD

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy’s top executive said today that the company would continue to set the standard for how energy companies position themselves for growth and success in the future.

Richard B. Priory, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Duke Energy, told 300 people at the company’s annual meeting that the speed of change in the energy industry has accelerated and the Duke Energy would be at the forefront of adapting to those changes.

"We will not be slow. We will seize opportunities to strengthen our business portfolio through acquisition, divestiture and captured synergies across businesses and regions," said Priory.

Priory highlighted various successful international and domestic projects, but added that the cornerstone of the company’s strategy has not changed: provide superior electric service to the Carolinas; own and operate strategic energy assets worldwide; supply and trade multiple forms of energy; and provide energy-related products and services.

Duke Energy’s 1998 bottom line backed up the success of that strategy. For the year, revenues grew more than $1 billion to $17.6 billion. Earnings before interest and taxes were in excess of $2.6 billion, an increase of $539 million. Earnings per share grew 36 percent to $3.41.

Those results earned the praise of various media sources during the year. Duke Energy was named Fortune magazine’s most admired company in the electric and gas utility sector in 1998. The company was also named the world’s most respected utility in a survey done for England’s Financial Times newspaper. Duke Energy was also named Utility of the Year by Electric Light & Power magazine.

"Other energy companies are now playing catch up with us," said Priory. "We intend to keep our place in the passing lane by excelling in the execution phase. We will deliver on our strategies, which in turn deliver the results, and value you expect of us."

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) is a global energy company with more than $26 billion in assets. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the company reaches into more than 50 countries, producing energy, transporting energy, marketing energy and providing energy services. In the United States, Duke Energy companies provide electric service to approximately two million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina; operate interstate pipelines that deliver natural gas to various regions of the country; and are leading marketers of electricity, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: Danny Gibbs
Phone: (704) 373-6680
24 Hour Phone: (704) 382-8333
Email: dpgibbs@hotmail.com