Swalec plans share buyback

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South Wales Electricity will seek permission to buy back a further 10 per cent of its shares, which would bring the total to 20 per cent, writes Mary Fagan. The company also plans to ask shareholders to lift the restriction that prevents any single investor from owning more than 15 per cent of its shares.

Wynford Evans, chairman, said that a 10 per cent buyback in 1994/95 had allowed the company to increase its dividend by 19.5 per cent to 30.6p compared with dividend increases since privatisation of 14-15 per cent.

"Swalec will continue to deliver full value to shareholders," he said, adding that no decision would be taken on future dividend policy until the implications of the current review of electricity distribution prices were known.

Swalec announced pre-tax profits up 17.9 per cent to pounds 122.6m in the year to March. Earnings per share jumped 31 per cent to 96.1p.