National Grid’s recovery after storm on track

Marion Dakers
NATIONAL Grid has a positive outlook for the year in spite of ongoing recovery work at its US business, which was battered by Hurricane Sandy, it said yesterday.

Investor relations head John Dawson told analysts that working capital is likely to be £200m to £300m higher than normal in the first half of the year as the firm works through cost claims in the wake of the hurricane.

National Grid expects to recover costs from the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) “within months”, Dawson added.

Almost a million of LIPA’s customers lost power after the hurricane. National Grid has a contract with the firm to run its electicity services.

The FTSE 100 component said it will make a decision on dividends after it responds to UK regulator Ofgem’s eight-year pricing plan, which was set out in December.

National Grid repeated its pledge to spend £3.6bn on capital investment this year across its UK and US operations.

“Sustained investment in transmission and distribution infrastructure, combined with a strong focus on efficiency has resulted in another solid operational performance,” said chief executive Steve Holliday.