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National Grid is braced for a £400m hit to its operating profits in the current financial year as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to wipe up to £1bn from the company’s cashflows, reports our energy correspondent Jillian Ambrose.

The energy networks giant, which runs Britain’s energy system and operates gas networks in the US, reported a pre-tax profit of £1.75bn for last year, down 5% from the year before.

It warned investors that its results for the current financial year would take a hit due to lower levels of energy use during the pandemic lockdown, and higher levels of ‘bad debt’ from customers in the US.

John Pettigrew, National Grid’s chief executive, said the financial impact of Covid-19 will be “largely recoverable over future years” and that the company anticipates “no material economic impact on the Group in the long-term”.

The FTSE 100 energy giant expects only a modest dent to its future capital spending, which last year reached a record £5.4bn, and will recommend that the dividend for the year climbs to 48.57p, up 2.6%.




Electricity pylons carry power away from Dungeness nuclear power station in Kent.

Electricity pylons carry power away from Dungeness nuclear power station in Kent. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA









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