NATIONAL Grid beat market expectations to grow pre-tax profit by 11 per cent last year, up to £2.88bn from £2.58bn, following a strong performance in the UK.
The utilities company said the UK business had benefited from its new operating model, which includes performance target initiatives, simplified processes and developments in design, planning, contracting and procurement.
This strong showing in the UK helped to offset a slightly weaker performance in the US. National Grid said its US business experienced a number of cost pressures during 2014/15, including higher costs associated with gas main leakages and repair activities.
These problems were exacerbated by high system demand, due to the exceptionally cold winters of the past two years, and the related impact on customers’ bills subsequently led to increased levels of bad debts.
Angelos Anastasiou at Whitman Howard said the broker remains wary of National Grid’s strategy “especially in the US”, however the company said profitability remains steady there.