NATIONAL GRID PLC (NYSE:NGG) Q4 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jun 18, 2020 • 04:15 am ET


NATIONAL GRID PLC (NYSE:NGG) Q4 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Nicholas Ashworth

Good morning, and welcome to our full year results presentation. Thank you for joining us remotely. I hope you're all safe and well. Firstly, I would just like to draw your attention to the cautionary statement that you'll find at the front of the presentation. Secondly, after the presentation, as usual, the IR team will be available by phone to help if you have any further questions.

So with that, I'd like to hand it over to our CEO, John Pettigrew. John?

John Pettigrew

Thank you, Nick, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to our full year results call. As usual, I'm joined today by Andy Agg, our CFO.

We have plenty of time for the call today. So Andy and I will be able to answer any questions you may have after the presentations. Clearly, everyone's safety and well-being are at the forefront of our minds at this time. Whilst dealing with the disruption that COVID-19 is causing, National Grid's greatest priority has been our people as well as the safety and well-being of our customers and communities. Before we turn to our results for '19/'20, I want to start today's presentation by taking you through how we've been reacting to COVID-19, and how well our business continues to deliver despite this major new challenge.

At the end of March, as the crisis unfolded, we successfully implemented our business continuity plans. Although COVID has had a profound impact on demand levels among the way in which we work, I'm proud to say that we've maintained excellent levels of reliability across our networks, and we continued to deliver on our significant capital program. As the crisis evolved, we took action to change working practices quickly and safely. In particular, we've risk assessed all of our operational and construction projects, issued new working guidance to our field force and collaborated across the industry, showing best practices and finding innovative new ways of working. And despite these changes, we continue to deliver strong operational performance.

A great example of this was our team's rapid restoration of power to 142,000 customers following significant storm in Massachusetts on the 13th of April. We were able to restore power within 29 hours to 95% of impacted customers. Away from the field, our dedicated control room staff have been working tirelessly, sequestered away from their families to ensure they're protected and can maintain our real-time operational systems. So as you can see, we've adapted extremely well to the challenges, and I'm proud of how our employees have responded.

Turning now to our customers. Our focus has been not only to keep the electricity and gas flowing, but also to help those customers who may be in financial difficulty.

In the US, recognizing the economic environment, we've not pursued debt collections or disconnecting customers at the present time. And as you're aware, we've also deferred proposed rate increases in New York. We're also helping customers to ascertain whether they're eligible for a discount on their bill, if they qualify for Home