Grid powers to an £8m-a-day profit

 

NATIONAL Grid is set to post operating profits of £3bn this year - more than £8m a day - which it admits will have to be ploughed back into a massive investment programme to prevent power cuts and connect new sources of energy.

National Grid, which runs the country's electricity network and half its gas mains, said operating profits in the six months to end-September - normally accounting for a third of annual business - were £1.09bn and pre-tax profits were £776m, a rise of 11%.

The dividend is up 20% to 10.2p at the interim stage while annual capital investment rises to £2bn from £1.5bn.

Chief executive Roger Urwin admitted a large proportion of that will go into replacing its ageing electricity infrastructure to make sure the company has no embarrassing power outages.

National Grid is also spending more than £500m on building a pipeline to the new massive liquefied natural gas terminal at Milford Haven in Wales, as well as £300m a year connecting wind farms and new power stations.