This morning I am sharing our full year results for 2014/15.
Our customers, both at home and at work, need a reliable, secure service with access to power and heat at any time without disruption. Our continued investment to maintain the network means that we have achieved high levels of reliability across the UK and the US despite exceptionally heavy snowfall in New England.
Our regulators and industry stakeholders expect innovation and efficient operations to keep energy costs low for the bill paying customer. In the UK, efficiencies from our first two years under RIIO are around £400m and will reduce customer bills by around £200m. In the US, our record year of increased investment in gas and electricity infrastructure ($2,368m) is helping to support our ambition to bring low-carbon, affordable energy to customers.
Our investors, including many of you who are shareholders in National Grid, expect to see a good return on their investment, receive a good dividend and have confidence that our business will grow. At Group level, we have been able to announce healthy financial headlines (£1:$1.58), although, as I forecast at half year in November, there are regional differences as a result of high winter costs in the US and pending rate case filings.
- Operating profit £3.9bn/$6.1bn up 5%
- Group Return on Equity 11.8%
- Value added £1.7bn or 44.7p per share. This metric captures the total return per share that we are creating for our investors
- Dividend: proposed increase of 2% in the final dividend to 28.16p per ordinary share
Overall it was another good year for safety, with a steady performance in the UK already achieving world class standards in many areas and a real step improvement in the US, particularly in overall lost time injury frequency rates. We have achieved a lot this year, but it is the US safety improvement that gives me particular satisfaction. However, we still have serious incidents impacting either our employees or contractors that can’t be tolerated in a world-class business and we can’t be complacent. I am determined that safety, and our aspiration to be the best, should continue to be a key priority for the whole business.
As we look into 2015/16, our near term priorities are about great execution. For the UK this means we need to continue to drive efficiencies and savings under RIIO that will materially benefit customers. For the US we need to raise our focus on performance improvement to secure the right revenue from our regulators to finance growth and high standards of customer service.
Thank you for your contribution this year in meeting the needs of our customers and investors.