National grids expect higher US costs to be offset by strong business performance

National Grid has reported a “solid operational and financial performance” for the period 1 April 2013 to 28 July 2013, with continued progress to developing its UK business and all outstanding rate plan settlements approved in the US.

The company expects to invest between £3.6bn and £3.9bn in 2013/14 and to grow its regulated assets by around six per cent per annum over the next few years.

In the firm’s UK transmission and distribution businesses, capital investment for 2013.14 is expected to be flat on 2012/13 with the London Power Tunnels project underway and plans for a western high voltage direct current link with Scotland.

In the US, investment has continued in line with the medium term guidance of £1.3bn to £1.4bn per annum, with major projects including the $800m New England East West system transmission project, around 65 per cent complete.

However, work to complete the US financial system and process implementation has been more complex than expected and the business is incurring costs because of this. However, National Grid expects that these costs will be offset by stronger than expected performance in the UK and US businesses.

There were no material changes to the company's financial position in the period.

Chief executive Steve Holliday said:

Our businesses have started the year well.

In the UK, our focus has been on embedding developments in our business model to enable performance improvements under the new agreed RIIO [regulatory] framework. Alongside changes to our organisational model and wider cost saving initiatives, we have also developed our approach to investment and efficiency, to drive improved execution and help us to deliver the performance expected of us.

In the US, our team continues to focus on improving customer service and returns by securing the benefits of the recent rate filings while focusing on resolving issues related to the SAP implementation started last year.

As a result, we are maintaining our outlook for 2013/14, reflecting the expected delivery of another year of solid operating and financial performance.