National Grid pre-tax profits up 4%

This is despite the cost of repairing US storm damage meaning headline profits for the year fell to £3.45 billion, a decrease of 8%

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By Jonny Bairstow

National Grid has reported its pre-tax profits have risen by 4% to £2.7 billion.

The network operator said it delivered a strong performance in its UK and North American businesses last year, despite the £142 million cost of repairing US storm damage meaning headline profits -those solely from a company’s operations – for the year fell to £3.45 billion, a decrease of 8%.

Underlying earnings per share were up 3% at 60.4p – the company is recommending an increase in its final dividend to 30.44p a share, meaning full-year dividends would increase by 3.75% to 45.93p.

Shares in the company have fallen from around 861p at the start of this year to 837p but it is optimistic about the future, forecasting asset growth of up to 7% in the medium term.

John Pettigrew, National Grid CEO, said: “We delivered strong operational and financial performance in 2017/18. Our networks achieved high levels of reliability and safety and we increased customer driven investment to £4.3 billion.”

Ofgem has warned energy network operators to brace themselves for a tougher round of price controls from 2021.