British Energy Expects Energy Price To Decline By 10% During 2002

British Energy, the UK's largest electricity generator, said that it expects the price it gets for its power to fall by ten percent this year. The company posted a loss in fiscal 2002 as lower prices damped earnings. The utility had a loss of 527 million pounds ($764 million), for the year ending March, from a profit of 9 million pounds, in fiscal 2001, the Finance Director Keith Lough said. The loss is the company's first since the UK government spun it off in 1996. The Scottish based company suffers more than rivals from falling electricity prices as it relies solely on generation, where prices have dropped by about a quarter in the last year, forcing AES Corp.'s Fifoots Point plant into receivership. The UK generates about thirty percent more power than it uses. “With a ten percent fall in the power price, there'll be a significant decline in the level of UK profitability,” said Andrew Wright, an analyst at UBS Warburg.

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