May 18, 2017 / 7:05 AM / a year ago

National Grid's full-year adjusted profit boosted by higher electricity prices

(Reuters) - Power grid operator National Grid Plc said its full-year adjusted operating profit rose 14 percent, helped by strong growth in its UK power transmission units as electricity prices rose due to supply shortages.

The company, which favoured Britain to remain in the European Union due to benefits to energy consumers, said its UK transmission business contributed 1.37 billion pounds to the group operating profit.

National Grid’s shares rose as much as 1.6 percent to a more than seven-month high in morning trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Adjusted operating profit rose to 4.7 billion pounds for the year ended March 31, the company said, adding that “favourable timing” in the UK and U.S. businesses, helped in part by the weather, also boosted the earnings.

Total capital investment across the group rose 504 million pounds to 4.45 billion pounds from the prior year, an increase of 5 percent at constant currency.

The company would invest 1.3 billion pounds on its UK businesses and sustain capital spending of about 4 billion pounds at the group level, National Grid CEO John Pettigrew told Reuters.

The Warwick-based company raised its dividend by 2.1 percent to 44.27 pence. The company will maintain its policy of increasing the dividend by at least as much as the UK inflation rate, Pettigrew said.

Reporting by Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Amrutha Gayathri

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