UK headquartered power supplier International Power has reported a massive 84% increase in pre-tax profits for the first half of the year as a result of acquisitions and increasing UK and US power prices.

The international utility achieved pre-tax profit before exceptionals of GBP142 million in H1 2005, an impressive 84% rise on figures of GBP77 million in the first half of 2004. Earnings per share for the first six months of the year increased by 40% from 4.8 pence a share to 6.7 pence per share. As a result of the profits hike, International has raised its 2005 full-year earnings per share forecasts to 12 to 13 pence.

Earnings and cash flow are up significantly, reflecting good contributions from the assets acquired in 2004 and the improving conditions in the UK and US, International Power chairman Neville Simms said.

The major improvement in results from the company’s US operations, which turned a H1 2004 loss of $10 million into an $8 million profit this year, was due in part to its $2.2 billion acquisition of 13 power plants from US utility Edison last year. Meanwhile, profits nearly doubled in Asia to GBP53 million and more than doubled in Europe to reach GBP112 million.