LONDON, March 28 National Grid, Britain's
biggest energy distributor, said it expects its earnings
forecast to be "modestly" ahead of its previous expectations as
it announced it will peg its dividend to inflation in the
In a trading update on Thursday ahead of its full year
results on May 16, National Grid said it had a strong finish to
the year, with its UK transmission business performing well,
offset by costs related to U.S. superstorm Sandy and restoration
work in February.
The company also unveiled a new dividend policy for the
period from April 2013.
"Any dividend increases above inflation will need to be
supported by sustained outperformance and to have no impact on
long-term credit ratings," the group said in a statement.
The company said the interim dividend for the year ending
March 2014 is expected to be 14.49 pence, and after that would
be 35 percent of the previous year's total dividend. National
Grid hiked its full-year dividend by 8 percent to 39.28 pence
Last month, National Grid agreed proposals from the British
regulator, setting out price controls which will give its UK
businesses regulatory clarity for the next 8 years.
Shares in the firm rose 1.4 percent to 762 pence in early
trade on Thursday.