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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2006, 07:21 GMT 08:21 UK
Price boost lifts British Energy
Boiler tubes at power station
British Energy says it has benefited from higher energy prices
British Energy has reported pre-tax profits of 599m ($1.1bn) - the nuclear power firm's first set of results since a major restructuring last year.

The company, which sells electricity to wholesale customers, said it had benefited from higher energy prices.

British Energy completed a financial rescue deal in 2005, which saw it issue new bonds to creditors in a bid to avoid bankruptcy.

The firm operates eight nuclear power plants and one coal-fired station.

"We have seen rapidly changing energy markets leading to a significant increase in UK power prices over the year," said chairman Sir Adrian Montague. "British Energy has benefited from these price increases".

However, a report in March this year warned that the cost of covering British Energy's nuclear liabilities had gone up by 50%, following a costly government bail-out of the nuclear power generator in 2002.

The National Audit Office said that UK taxpayers faced a "significant risk" of a bill of 5bn.

The government has indicated that it is prepared to sell part of its majority stake in the firm.

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