British Energy, the UK-based electricity generator responsible for 20 per cent of the UK’s power, will deliver a profit this year of around �25m – in line with market analysts expectations, according to a statement made ahead of the company’s financial half-year.

The group has only recently ventured outside its nuclear generation field with the acquisition of the 2000 Eggborough coal-fired plant but the flexibility it offers has enabled British Energy to operate effectively within the Neta electricity trading structure in the UK. It said that imbalances were running at less than one per cent of production and that it had now secured a high level of contract cover for the second half of the current year.

The profit forecast comes three months after the group warned of the possibility of a loss for the year following a decline in profitability from �241m to �10m the year before. Electricity prices in the UK have been ten per cent lower but positive contributions from the group’s North America operations offset this.

AmerGen, the joint venture with Exelon, the largest nuclear generator in the US, is expected to add more than �10m for each of its three plants for the full year despite a recent refuelling outage incident. In Canada, the Bruce Power lease deal was completed on May 12, ahead of schedule, and is forecast to make a pre-tax profit contribution of �120m after interest on local debt by 2003/04, being �20m each for 6 reactors.

British Energy said that Bruce Power will make a modest contribution to profits this year due to early closure and higher output ratings. A planned outage at Bruce B unit 5 has now commenced.

British Energy aims to improve performance and pursue cost savings at its UK installations. It has focused its growth on North America to offset increasing competition in the UK electricity sector.

British Energy’s interim results are due to be announced on 7th November 2001.