National Grid earnings grow with cost cuts

NATIONAL Grid yesterday reported a rise in first-half pre-tax profits and said it was on track to deliver strong full-year results.

Britain’s biggest energy distributor said first-half profits rose two per cent to £953m, and was up 19 per cent excluding the impact of Hurricane Irene.

That compared with estimates of £985.1m, according to a poll of analysts

“The restructuring of our US business is now largely complete and is delivering operational and financial,” the company said in a statement.

“Our existing price controls in the UK continue to deliver attractive returns.”

National Grid has been restructuring its US business after unveiling plans in January to cut seven per cent of its workforce in the country, for annual cost savings of about $200m (£126.5m).

The gas and electricity transmission company also declared an interim dividend of 13.93 pence, up eight per cent, in line with its policy.

“We remain well positioned to deliver another good year, although comparative progress will be impacted by the timing differences that benefited 2010-11,” the company added.