Grid puts off plans to find Energis partner

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National Grid Group, the privatised power transmission business, has put off imminent plans to find an equity partner for its fast growing telecommunications business, Energis, after a better than expected operating performance, writes Chris Godsmark.

Energis's revenues more than doubled last year from pounds 42.8m to pounds 97.1m as its network expanded. Investment was pounds 90m, with pounds 300m expected over the next three years. It now serves 33,000 business sites in the UK and plans to build direct links to companies in London's Docklands.

The network also unveiled an operating agreement with Deutsche Telekom, though David Jones, National Grid chief executive, said there was no longer such a strong need for full-blown strategic alliances. "Certainly we have had discussions with a number of potential partners. In the meantime, the buisness has moved on quite dramatically."

The Grid announced a 12 per cent rise in profits for the year to March to pounds 591.4m and raised its dividend by 8.4 per cent to 11.13p. Cost savings this year would be in double figures.

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