By Jaime Llinares Taboada

 

National Grid PLC on Thursday posted a lower pretax profit for fiscal 2020, proposed a dividend in line with policy and projected a coronavirus hit of 400 million pounds ($502.2 million) to underlying earnings this financial year.

The FTSE 100 power infrastructure company made a pretax profit of GBP1.75 billion for the year ended March 31, down from GBP1.84 billion for fiscal 2019.

Underlying operating profit--one of the company's preferred metrics, that strips out exceptional items--rose 0.8% to GBP3.45 billion, but missed the market consensus of GBP3.57 billion--taken from the company's website and based on 12 analysts' forecasts.

National Grid declared a final dividend of 32.0 pence a share, bringing the full-year payout to 48.57 pence--up from 47.34 pence for fiscal 2019 and in line with the RPI inflation-linked company's growth policy.

For fiscal 2021, National Grid said it expects the coronavirus pandemic to have an impact of GBP400 million in underlying operating profit. This would be largely driven by the U.S. business, where the group is forecasting higher bad debt, additional direct costs and the deferral of rate increases.

 

Write to Jaime Llinares Taboada at jaime.llinares@wsj.com; @JaimeLlinaresT

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 18, 2020 02:36 ET (06:36 GMT)

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