Allete Inc., a Duluth-based energy company, said third-quarter revenues were $248.8 million, up nearly 10 percent from last year in part because of higher energy sales and the benefits of renewable energy tax credits associated with an expanding renewable wind generation portfolio.

The company posted earnings of 78 cents per share on net income of $29.4 million, compared with 57 cents on income of $20.5 million last year.

The company's chairman, president and chief executive officer, Al Hodnik, said that the company expects to finish 2012 with earnings in the $2.50 to $2.60 per share range. "We're pleased to report a strong third quarter that positions Allete to meet its financial targets as we approach year-end," he said. The company's businesses include Minnesota Power, Superior Water, Light & Power Co., BNI Coal and Allete Clean Energy, which develops and manages a variety of renewable energy concerns for suppliers and consumers. For example, the company said that sales to Minnesota Power's industrial customers, including taconite companies, were up 3.5 percent compared to last year as those mines operate at near-capacity. The company also sold nearly 4 percent more electricity to retail and municipal customers. Allete said that despite stronger revenues, operating and maintenance, depreciation and interest expenses were higher than last year.

Jim Buchta • 612-673-7376