Unitil Corp. reported net income of $1.2 million, or $0.11 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2009, down significantly from the $3.2 million, or $0.53 per share, reported for the same quarter of 2008.

The company attributed the decline in earnings to adverse weather in its area of business in New England, which resulted in extraordinary legal fees and an accounting charge by state regulatory authorities. Excluding these charges, the company earned $5.1 million, or $0.47 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Bob Schoenberger, the CEO of Unitil Corporation, said, “We had a challenging year in 2009 due to the economy and some extraordinary regulatory issues. Our earnings before the one-time charges for regulatory matters reflect the value of our recent acquisition of Northern Utilities and Granite State, which was accretive to our 2009 earnings. Looking forward we are focused on realizing the long-term earnings power of our assets as the economy recovers and we complete our regulatory agenda.”

Unitil Corporation is a holding company headquartered in New Hampshire that distributes electricity and natural gas in the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. The company’s subsidiaries include Unitil Energy Systems, Inc., Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company, Northern Utilities, Inc., and Granite State Gas Transmission, Inc. The company serves more than 170,000 customers.