National Grid profits soar as submarine power cable to France boosts business – .

National Grid profits soar as submarine power cable to France boosts business – .

EThe energy network operator National Grid has seen its half-year profits soar as it benefits from a new submarine cable from France providing renewable electricity.

National Grid saw its pre-tax profits jump 86% to £ 1 billion in the six months to September 30. The figure was flattered by the £ 7.8 billion acquisition of Western Power Distribution. The deal was struck earlier this year, which means numbers were included in financial reports for the first time. Excluding this impact, comparable profits increased a further 24%.

Managing Director John Pettigrew said the performance was due to a “strong contribution” from a new interconnector to France which went live during the period.
Interconnects are submarine cables that connect the UK power grid to neighboring countries, enabling them to supply electricity produced from renewable sources. National Grid recently completed work on another £ 620million interconnector with Norway.
Profits were also boosted by a recovery in demand for electricity and the mitigation of the impact of Covid-19.
National Grid improved its annual forecast after a strong first half, saying it now expects “full-year underlying EPS significantly above the high end of our 5-7 range. % ”. Operating income is on track to be £ 100 million higher than expected thanks to high electricity prices from interconnections. National Grid today increased its interim dividend from 17p to 17.2p.
Shares rose 9.5 pence, 1%, to 984.4 pence.
National Grid is currently reorienting its activities to focus on renewable energy and green electricity infrastructure. He plans to spend £ 6.5bn per year to build new infrastructure for this purpose and has invested £ 2.8bn so far this year. The plans include a 33 km tunnel 60 meters below London that will supply offshore wind power to low pockets like Wimbledon.
National Grid believes that it can finance the investments while maintaining the level of costs. It has launched a three-year profitability program which aims to save £ 400million per year. Pettigrew said most of the savings would come from technology and digitization, saying it is “not about significant job losses”.
As an infrastructure operator, National Grid has not been directly affected by soaring gas prices, but helps clean up when operators go bankrupt. Pettigrew said he was “obviously concerned” about the number of consumer suppliers going bankrupt.
Concerns are growing that the UK could face a tough winter with extremely high gas prices and supply concerns. Pettigrew said there could be “a little bit of tension” in the supply at times, but that was to be expected.
“In the winter there is a lot of gasoline available,” he said. “Of course, for gas to flow, there has to be a price difference. “


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