UK gains help sparks fly at National Grid

ENERGY distributor National Grid said yesterday that it expects another year of good operating performance after reporting a six per cent rise in annual pre-tax profit.

“During the year we secured significant regulatory outcomes, covering over 80 per cent of our asset base, creating much greater clarity for our businesses,” chief executive Steve Holliday said in a statement.

“We have built a strong platform from which to deliver organic growth and support our new dividend policy,” he added.

National Grid, which also has operations in the northeast of the United States, said it aimed to grow its dividend at least in line with British retail price index (RPI) inflation each year.

That figure was 3.3 per cent in March.

For 2013, National Grid paid a full-year dividend of 40.85p, up by four per cent.

Profit before tax rose six per cent to £2.74bn in the year to the end of March, the company said, despite the impact of storms that hit the United States over the year.

Earnings per share were 56.1p, up 12 per cent from 50p.

“In the UK, we are positioned to make a strong start to the new eight year regulatory regime.

“We are focused on meeting our regulatory commitments by operating efficiently and investing in essential infrastructure,” added Holliday.