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Cleco raises its quarterly dividend for fourth time since 2010

Shareholders to see eight percent increase in next quarterly dividend payment

PINEVILLE, La., July 26, 2012 - Cleco Corporation (NYSE: CNL) today announced that its board of directors voted to raise the quarterly dividend from $0.3125 per share to $0.3375 per share on its common stock for the Aug. 15, 2012, payment. 

This new amount represents an eight percent increase in the current quarterly dividend and is Cleco's fourth dividend increase in the past three years.  The new dividend amount on an annualized basis totals $1.35 per share. 

"We continue to execute our strategy and grow our core business, Cleco Power, while reducing risk across the company," said Bruce Williamson, president and CEO.  "This dividend increase reflects our confidence in the business and the strength of our financial condition.  It also underscores our commitment to a long-term dividend payout ratio between 50 percent and 60 percent of sustainable earnings."

Cleco has paid dividends to its shareholders since 1935.  Below is a summary of the dividend payment, as declared by the board of directors:

Class of Stock Dividend Declared Record Date Payment Date
Common Stock $0.3375 Aug. 7, 2012 Aug. 15, 2012

Cleco also recently enhanced its Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) which allows dividends on its common stock to be reinvested in additional shares of common stock at market price.  Under the enhanced DRIP, there are no administrative fees to purchase stock and reinvest dividends.  For more information about Cleco's DRIP, visit www.cleco.com/investors.

Cleco Corporation is a regional energy company headquartered in Pineville, La.  Cleco owns a regulated electric utility company, Cleco Power LLC, which owns nine generating units with a total nameplate capacity of 2,524 megawatts and serves approximately 281,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and 10 communities across Louisiana and Mississippi through wholesale power contracts.  Cleco also owns a wholesale energy business, Cleco Midstream Resources LLC, which owns two natural gas-fired generating units with a total nameplate capacity of 775 megawatts.  For more information about Cleco, visit www.cleco.com.

Analyst Contact:
Tom Miller
(318) 484-7642

Investor Contact:
Rodney Hamilton
(318) 484-7593

Media Contact:
Fran Phoenix
(318) 484-7467

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