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International Power interim operating profit up, business performing in line

International Power interim operating profit up, business performing in line

International Power PLC (LSE: IPR) reported a 12 percent rise in operating profit for the first half, or 2 percent at constant currencies, saying the business continues to perform in line with board expectations in the second half, has strong corporate liquidity and is well placed for the future.

Profit from operations before exceptional items for the six months ended June 30 2009 rose to £555 million from £495 million a year earlier, on revenue that rose to £2.69 billion from a restated £1.73 billion. Pretax profit before exceptionals rose to £339 million from 313 million, and the group is raising the interim dividend by 19 percent to 4.25 pence a share.

Chairman Neville Simms said: “Given that the North American and UK merchant markets remain challenging, we continue to expect that full year profits will be lower than those achieved in 2008. However, the financial position of the Group remains strong, with good corporate liquidity and we expect to deliver continued strong free cash flow in the second half of 2009.”#

In Indonesia, financing negotiations regarding development of the proposed 815 MegaWatt coal-fired third plant in of the Paiton complex are progressing well, and financial close is expected to occur in September 2009.

In the UAE, the construction programme for the 2,000 MW Fujairah F2 project is well underway. All five GT26 gas turbines are now in place, and the project is on schedule to reach full commercial operation in 2010.

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