The National Grid, Britain’s largest energy distributor, has released its full-year results for 2011.  The results show that the company performed strongly last year, with profit before tax rising by 5 percent. As a result, earnings per share were up 1 percent to 51.3p.

Steve Holliday, Chief Executive, said: “We delivered another year of good underlying financial and operating performance despite the impact of some exceptional weather in the US.

“At the same time we made further progress developing the business consistent with our strategic priorities, maintaining an appropriate spread and balance of activities to support both long-term growth and dividends.”

However, the company saw debt levels rise by £1 billion to £19.6 billion overall. The National grid has been charged with the majority of the burden of upgrading Britain’s ageing energy infrastructure, estimated to cost £30 billion. As a result the company submitted new eight year UK investment plans which includes over £31 billion of forecast capital investment.

Steve Holliday added: “In the UK, we submitted comprehensive business plans for the essential infrastructure investment needed by our UK customers in our Transmission and Distribution businesses, incorporating the results of our significant stakeholder consultation.

“On the back of a solid all round performance in 2011/12, and reflecting the revenue growth that our regulatory arrangements provide, we maintain a positive outlook for 2012/13, and expect to deliver another year of good operating and financial performance.”

Following the inclusion of Electricity Market Reform proposals in the Queen’s Speech, National Grid will have to work hard to put in place new infrastructure capable of delivering a low carbon economy.

Reacting to the EMR proposals, National Grid Executive Director, UK, Nick Winser said: “National Grid is well placed and has the expertise to deliver the mechanisms outlined in the technical paper. There is a lot of work to do to ensure we are ready to deliver these mechanisms and we remain committed to playing our part and working closely with DECC, the energy industry and other stakeholders to ensure they are delivered on time.”