May 17, 2018 / 6:29 AM / a year ago

National Grid's full-year profits rise helped by U.S. business

(Reuters) - British power grid operator National Grid (NG.L) was optimistic about its growth prospects after the company reported stronger than expected full-year profit.

National Grid said it expected growth in its business of at least 7 percent in the near term, and at the top end of the 5-7 percent range for the medium term.

This compares with an increase of about 6 percent in the year ended March 31.

The company’s adjusted profit before tax fell 5.6 percent to 2.650 billion pounds ($3.59 billion), but marginally beat analysts’ estimate of 2.647 billion pounds.

Profit from its regulated business in the United States, which contributes about half of the total, fell slightly to 1.7 billion pounds, but came in above analysts’ estimate of 1.66 billion pounds.

National Grid owns and operates electricity transmission facilities and gas distribution networks in the United States. In Britain, it also owns and operates electricity and gas transmission networks.

The company’s shares initially rose 2.1 percent, but were 1.2 percent up by 0850 GMT.

National Grid said it expected 2018/19 capital investment to be similar level to the 4.3 billion pounds of investment in 2017/18.

Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman

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