Volker Beckers, group finance director of RWE npower, has said that the company expects its operating profit to go up by 40%, compared to an earlier estimate of 10%, according to reports.

The Birmingham Post quoted RWE as saying that RWE npower expects an operating profit of GBP498 million for 2007, compared with GBP355 million in 2006.

As well as its current investment of GBP1.4 billion for the construction of lower-carbon, combined cycle gas turbine power stations at Staythorpe in Nottinghamshire and Pembroke in West Wales, the company revealed its interest in nuclear power, stating that it considering building nuclear power stations in the UK after 2016.

The newspaper quoted Kevin Akhurst, head of generation and renewables at the company, as saying: Nuclear is a serious option. Investment decisions will be made later.