News Release
April 25, 2002

DUKE ENERGY CEO TELLS SHAREHOLDERS THAT COMPANY KEPT ITS FOCUS ON RESULTS IN TURBULENT YEAR

– Despite turbulent worldwide and industry events, Duke Energy’s ability to focus on its business strategy paid off with positive results, the company’s chairman told shareholders today at its annual meeting.

Richard B. Priory, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Duke Energy, addressed more than 250 shareholders and said that while many companies have appeared to lose focus, Duke Energy has been able to stay on the path of delivering positive results.

 

“Over the past 12 months, we have fine-tuned our strategy to build on our core strengths: gathering, processing, generating, transporting, delivering and trading energy,” he said. “Last month, we completed the acquisition of Westcoast Energy – further strengthening our position as a premier natural gas pipeline company in North America.”

 

In regard to delivering to shareholders, Priory added that Duke Energy common stock has outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Utility Index over the past five years. The company was also named to the Business Week 50 for the past two years – recognizing it as one of the top performers in the Standard & Poor’s 500.

 

Duke Energy has also been working hard to build new energy infrastructure to meet the country’s increased energy demand. Priory said that a 1-percent rise in energy consumption in the United States means almost 10,000 megawatts of new capacity must be built.

 

“This summer, Duke Energy will start up 11 new power plants around the country, and we have another five plants under construction that will be ready for the summer of 2003,” he said. Much of Duke Energy’s new capacity is in areas – like the Midwest and California – that have experienced power shortages within the past few years.

 

Priory also stated that the company remains on target to deliver 10 percent to 15 percent compound annual earnings per share growth from a base of $2.10 in 2000. “Earnings per share have grown 13 percent annually since 1998,” he said. “We remain on track to meet our earnings projections for 2002.”

 

During the meeting, Duke Energy shareholders re-elected five board members:   G. Alex Bernhardt, William A. Coley, Dr. Max Lennon, Leo E. Linbeck Jr. and Dr. James T. Rhodes. Shareholders also ratified the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the company’s auditors for 2002, and three other company-sponsored proposals. Four shareholder proposals on various topics were not approved.

 

The complete text of Priory’s speech can be found at the Duke Energy Web site in the Executive Viewpoint column under the “About Us” section.

 

DUKE ENERGY ANNUAL MEETING VOTES

Proposal 2 – Approval of Auditors

FOR – 96.84 percent; AGAINST – 3.16 percent 

 

Proposal 3A – Updating of Corporate Purpose Clause

FOR -- 99.38 percent; AGAINST – 0.62 percent

 

Proposal 3B – Authorize Serial Preferred Stock

FOR – 84.35 percent; AGAINST – 15.65 percent

 

Proposal 3C – Company By-Law Change

FOR – 82.44 percent; AGAINST – 17.56 percent

 

Proposal 3D – Decrease Permissible Size of Board

FOR – 98.52 percent; AGAINST – 1.48 percent

 

SHAREHOLDER PROPOSALS

Proposal 4 – Investment in Alternative Energy Sources

AGAINST 95.75 percent; FOR -- 4.25 percent

 

Proposal 5 – Role of Board in Strategic Planning

AGAINST -- 94.54 percent; FOR -- 5.46 percent

 

Proposal 6 – Independent Auditors Who Render Only Auditing Opinions

AGAINST – 63.70 percent; FOR – 36.30 percent

 

Proposal 7 – Nuclear Program Study

AGAINST – 89.48 percent; FOR – 10.52 percent

 

Duke Energy, a diversified multinational energy company, creates value for customers and shareholders through an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. Duke Energy manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses -- generating revenues of more than $59 billion in 2001. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: Randy Wheeless
Phone: 704/382-8379
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: crwheele@duke-energy.com