Sandy blows $80m hole in National Grid

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The Independent Online

National Grid will reveal that superstorm Sandy caused damage worth an estimated $370m (£232m) to its US supply network when announcing its interim results on Thursday.

Société Gé*érale analyst Ashley Thomas estimates the storm costs will knock about $80m off the energy operator's full-year bottom line. Although it can theoretically recoup its costs through price rises, these have to be signed off by regulators. This can take up to three years to complete and could still potentially leave National Grid out of pocket.

Sandy will not have affected this week's results, which are for the six months to September. Profit is expected to be about 6 per cent higher than last year at £1.6bn.

The FTSE 100 utility is in talks with Ofgem over mandatory £30bn capital investment in its plants and transmission network in 2013-21. The proposals will be finalised next month and the spending will prove to be a drag on National Grid's previously aggressive dividend pay-out policy.