International Power is boosted by strong sales in Asia and Oz

ELECTRICITY producer International Power said yesterday it made a pre-tax profit of &pound;579m, up from &pound;2m in the same period from the year before, boosted by sales in Asia and Australia.<br /><br />The company said operating profit for the six months to 30 June was up 12 per cent to &pound;555m, beating analysts&rsquo; estimates.<br /><br />&ldquo;All divisions performed ahead of our expectations, especially Australia and Asia, and we believe that this is a very strong underlying first half,&rdquo; Morgan Stanley said in a note.<br /><br />But the group, which has interests in more than 45 power stations and related businesses globally, said the rise was just two per cent when currency effects were stripped out.<br /><br />&ldquo;The half-year results reflect good operating performance across our international portfolio with increased contributions from Australia and Asia,&rdquo; International Power&rsquo;s chief executive Philip Cox said.