UPDATE: Drax’s full year core earnings beat expectations as transformation continues

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Power producer Drax Group has beaten full-year core earnings expectations.

Drax Power Station, which is based near Selby, is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. Drax has converted three of its six power plant units to burn wood pellets.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 63.6 per cent to £229 million for the year ended December 31, the company said.

Revenue grew by about 25 per cent to £3.69 billion, helped by higher profit from its biomass power plants and the acquisition of Opus Energy.

As well as higher generation and acquisitions, revenue was buoyed by a 35 per cent increase in biomass pellet production at the company’s US manufacturing plants.

As a part of its efforts to meet climate targets, Britain plans to close all coal-fired power plants by 2025 unless they are fitted with technology which can capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Drax plans to convert a fourth unit to biomass by the end of the year and eventually replace its existing coal units with two large gas units. Andy Koss, chief executive of Drax Power, said there was a lot more clarity in Government energy policy and a clear road map for future support.

Will Gardiner, chief executive of Drax Group, said: “We continued to transform the business in 2017, delivering a strong EBITDA performance.”