The bulk of the earnings growth is attributable to the company’s continental business, although this is unlikely to prevent accusations that the firm is ‘profiteering’ from massive price hikes to consumers in its UK market.

International Power – the generating arm of the former National Power – generates around 6% of the UK’s power at a number of sites including the coal station at Rugeley and a number of hydro stations.

Operating profits from the European operations – including the UK – rose to GBP242 million from GBP116 million a year ago.