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Progress Energy to focus on its core utility business

ASHEVILLE, N.C., May 14, 2003 — Progress Energy Chairman and CEO William Cavanaugh told attendees of a recent Annual Meeting of Shareholders that the company has demonstrated its fundamental strength and will remain focused on its core utility business.

At the meeting held in the Asheville Community Theatre in Asheville, N.C., shareholders re-elected five directors and rejected two shareholder proposals. In addition, the board of directors declared the dividend.

“Our company has demonstrated its fundamental strength and the soundness of its strategy,” said Cavanaugh. “Progress Energy has consistently outperformed its competitors and is the only energy company in the Electric Utility Index whose annual return ranked in the top half for each of the past three years. We have shown consistency and resiliency in the face of chaotic market conditions.

“Progress Energy’s strategy is to stay true to its utility roots while making strategic investments in related businesses that can generate higher growth,” Cavanaugh continued. “Our company has a secure foundation of talented people and high-quality assets in great regions of the country. As we go forward, we’ll be especially focused on financial discipline, operational excellence and relentless improvement.

“Business scandals of the past year have shattered many people’s confidence and trust in Corporate America, but Progress Energy is known both for what we have accomplished and also the way we do business,” said Cavanaugh.

“In 2002, our company was one of only three in the S&P 500 to be recognized by Standard and Poor’s for providing the most complete and detailed information to investors. In this post-Enron era, it’s more important than ever for corporations to be clear and up-front about their financial condition and business practices. Acting with integrity is very much the Progress Energy way.”

Cavanaugh reiterated the company’s earnings expectation of $3.60 to $3.80 for 2003 and said the company is ahead of plan following a strong first quarter.