Glasgow-based ScottishPower almost doubled its profit before tax for the third quarter, and chief executive Philip Bowman confirmed that the company had no intention to sell out.

The UK utility rejected a takeover bid from Powergen owner E.ON last year for undervaluing the business, but the recent appointment of former Allied Domecq executive Mr Bowman raised speculation that talks may be resumed again.

However, Mr Bowman said in a conference call: We need to run the business on the basis we intend to have an independent future. We have the strategy, we have the assets. The company also warned that despite the increase in earnings, customers should expect a price hike in the future due to the higher wholesale energy costs.

ScottishPower reported a 27% rise in adjusted operating profit for continuing operations to GBP233 million for the quarter, driven by higher regulatory revenues in energy networks, customer growth and investment returns from acquisitions. Reported profit before tax rose 95% to GBP329 million.