Michael Felberbaum

RICHMOND: Energy company Dominion Resources Inc., with Akron-area operations, said Thursday its first-quarter profit rose 3 percent as lower operations and maintenance expenses offset declines in electricity use because of warmer-than-normal weather.

The Richmond, Va., company said it earned $494 million, or 86 cents a share, for the period that ended March 31, up from $479 million, or 82 cents a share, a year ago.

Dominion said its operating earnings fell 10 percent to $487 million, or 85 cents a share. The company uses operating earnings that exclude certain items as the main way to measure its performance.

Revenue fell about 14 percent to $3.49 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of 88 cents a share on revenue of $3.4 billion.

Dominion’s core businesses continued to deliver strong results despite the effects of the “warmest first-quarter weather in more than 100 years in our electric service territory,” Chief Executive Thomas F. Farrell II said in a news release. “We maintain our focus on meeting the growing infrastructure needs of customers in the energy markets we serve and are very pleased with the progress being made on projects in our infrastructure growth plan.”

Dominion said construction is on track for its Appalachian Gateway pipeline between West Virginia and Pennsylvania, which is expected to be in service by September. Two other projects serving the Marcellus and Utica shale regions also should be in service by the end of the year.

The company said it expects to report second-quarter operating earnings of 55 cents to 65 cents a share. For all of 2012, the company expects operating earnings of $3.10 to $3.35 a share.

Dominion Resources is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy and has the nation’s largest natural gas storage system. It serves retail customers in 15 states.