National Grid’s Sandy clean-up to reach £100m

Marion Dakers
NATIONAL Grid posted a jump in half-year profits yesterday, as it warned that damage from Hurricane Sandy will cost it up to £100m to fix.

FTSE 100-listed National Grid posted a 37 per cent rise in statutory pre-tax profits to £1.29bn for the six months to the end of September, or a rise of 21 per cent to £1.15bn based on business performance.

Revenues fell 3.6 per cent to £6.08bn, due mostly to a fall in US-regulated activities.

National Grid said it had reviewed its storm response plans since 2011’s Hurricane Irene and that in most regions, power was restored within three days of Hurricane Sandy battering the eastern seaboard.

The group is working with US authorities to restore services for the 1.1m customers in Long Island who lost power in the superstorm at the start of November.

Operating profits for its UK transmission business rose 18 per cent to £712m in the half, while gas distribution profits rose seven per cent to £408m.

Part of this rise was due to above-inflation price rises in the regulated transmission business.

Capital investment rose 23 per cent to £1.83bn, mostly due to 34 per cent higher spending on UK transmission.

Net debt increased from £19.6bn to £20.4bn as the firm ploughs money into its upgrade work.

Chief executive Steve Holliday said he was “pleased with the progress we made in the first half of the year”.