Taxpayer 'relief' as British Energy profits boosted


Britain's taxpayers will be relieved by news that British Energy, which the government has invested over £5 billion of public money in, has recorded impressive annual results.

Sustained high utilities bills powered British Energy into a strong profit growth position during the last year, the company has revealed today.

Its preliminary results for the year ending on March 31st registered an operating profit of £846 million, taking basic earnings per share to 75.9p.

After the government decided in 2002 to bail the struggling company out by investing billions of pounds, major financial restructuring was instigated which has now been completed. That reorganisation, together with an extremely helpful market, has raised the company away from years of operating losses to a strong profit this year.

"British Energy has made significant progress over the past year," said Bill Coley, British Energy's chief executive.

"Largely due to higher realised prices, the group has shown significant improvement in profitability and cash flow."

He explained that the company hopes to use its profits to implement the development of "world class nuclear operations", citing £250-£300 million worth of investment into its Dungeness power station.

"With the skilled and experienced team in British Energy, I am confident of our success," Mr Coley added.

British Energy's share prices responded poorly to today's announcement after no guidance on the dividend going forward was issued, failing to advance significantly during morning trading.

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