National Grid Misses on Sales, Beats on Bottom Line

U.K.-based National Grid reported its full-year 2013 results (link opens in PDF) today, missing on top-line growth but beating bottom-line estimates.

Revenue clocked in at £14.36 billion ($21.84 billion), just shy of analysts' £14.43 billion ($21.95 billion) estimate but 3.8% above 2012's sales. Although sales made only minor gains, the utility squeezed more than expected from its top line. Adjusted EPS came in at 62.3 pence ($0.95), 11 pence ($0.17) above 2012's earnings and a surprising 8.3 pence ($0.13) above analysts' predictions.

"This has been an important year for National Grid with the successful conclusion of several major strategic priorities," said CEO Steve Holliday in a statement. "During the year we secured significant regulatory outcomes, covering over 80% of our asset base, creating much greater clarity for our businesses. At the same time, we delivered a record operating profit and robust cash flow performance despite another year of significant storms in the US. As a result, we have built a strong platform from which to deliver organic growth and support our new dividend policy."

Looking ahead, National Grid expects recent regulatory wins, efficient investing, and strong cash flow to keep profits on the rise. The company announced a new dividend policy in March that aligns dividend growth to at least the rate of retail price inflation, expected to equate to approximately 4% annual growth.

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