National Grid's post FY profit, lifts capital investment

National Grid has produced a lower statutory FY pretax profit as capital investment improved.

The company's pretax profit was £2.9bn, down from £3.0bn. Capital investment was £4.5bn, up from £3.9bn.

"Last year was an important year for National Grid," said CEO John Pettigrew in a statement.

"We invested record capex of £4.5bn delivering a safe and reliable service for customers," he said.

"Our focus on efficiency has also generated £460m of savings for customers in the first half of the 8 year RIIO framework."

National Grid had made significant progress in the year, with the successful completion of the UK Gas Distribution transaction, a good outcome on the rate filings in the US and a positive conclusion to important regulatory reviews in the UK, he continued.

It was well positioned for the future with a rebalanced, higher-growth portfolio. "We are actively taking steps to evolve the business to meet the changing needs of our customers."

OUTLOOK

National Grid said following the agreement of a number of regulatory filings, the financial performance of the US business was expected to improve, with 2017/18 benefiting from a FY of new rates in its downstate New York gas and Massachusetts Electric businesses.

"In UK Transmission, totex performance is expected to remain consistent although incentive performance and legacy allowances are expected to decline. The overall contribution from Other activities and National Grid Ventures is expected to be higher."

Continuing capital investment for National Grid's continuing business was expected to increase to over £4bn driven by increased workload agreed under the new rate agreements in the US, together with higher asset health investment and new connections in its UK Transmission businesses and further investment in National Grid Ventures.

"Looking further ahead we expect to maintain significant levels of capital investment over the medium term, reflecting growing investment in the US and continued high levels of investment in the UK.

"The Board believes that National Grid is in a strong position to continue to deliver a safe and reliable service to customers, while sustaining a strong balance sheet, delivering attractive asset growth and continuing the Group's commitment to the existing dividend policy for the foreseeable future."