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National Grid to capitalise on Obama's investment bonanza

NATIONAL Grid was in bullish mood yesterday, pledging to take advantage of plans by president Barack Obama to invest in the US electricity network, despite reporting a 36 per cent annual pre tax profit fall.<br /><br />The UK electricity and gas provider, which derives around half of its business from its wholly-owned US subsidiary, said the infrastructure investment will mean a healthy boost in US business over the coming years.<br /><br />Chief finance officer Steve Lucas said National Grid has been ensuring it plays a major role in the network revamp by working &ldquo;really hard&rdquo; with politicians and regulators in the US.<br /><br />He described yesterday&rsquo;s preliminary results for the group as &ldquo;very good&rdquo;, saying the 36 per cent profit fall from &pound;1.39bn to &pound;2.18bn was just a &ldquo;statutory number&rdquo; since last year&rsquo;s profits included disposals of businesses.<br /><br />Ignoring the disposal shows profits actually rose by 12 per cent, last year, he said.<br /><br />A loss of &pound;443m from the revaluation of energy contracts, down from a profit of &pound;232m in the previous year, also hurt the group&rsquo;s profits, as did costs relating to its acquisition of US rival KeySpan.