Power producer Drax makes a return to profit

Power producer Drax has return to a profit after the hydro and gas assets it acquired from Scottish Power last year boosted earnings by £36m.

Drax Power Station, near Selby. Picture: Simon Hulme

The Selby-based power generator reported pre-tax profit of £4m for the six months ended June 30, 2019, up from a loss of £11m the previous year.

Operating profit grew from £12m to £34m while adjusted earnings lifted from £102m to £138.

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Drax said integration of its acquired hydro and gas assets was progressing well and that it had made progress with biomass cost reduction.

Will Gardiner, chief executive of Drax Group, said: “Drax Group has delivered strong profit and dividend growth in the first half of the year. Integration of our new hydro and gas generation assets is progressing well and the value the group delivers from supporting the energy system has almost doubled.

“Drax is supporting British business with innovative new energy services and, despite challenging market conditions, our Customers business continues to grow.

“Our biomass cost reduction initiative and plans for expanded biomass self-supply are going well.

“Drax wholeheartedly supports the UK’s target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by half in the past year underscores Drax’s commitment to this goal.

“With the right investment and regulatory framework we could go further and Drax could become the world’s first carbon negative power station - something the UK Committee on Climate Change recognises will be crucial.”