Energy network operator National Grid said on Tuesday it expected to deliver strong growth in first half pretax profit and earnings.

We anticipate delivering higher income, principally driven by higher allowed revenues in UK electricity transmission and a continued strong performance from LNG storage and French interconnector capacity auctions, the country's biggest utility said in a statement.

National Grid owns the power transmission network in England and Wales and the gas transmission network in the whole of Britain.

It expects to report its results for the six months to September 30 on November 16.

Due to lower financing costs this period, we anticipate strong growth in profit before tax with an effective tax rate in line with last year, leading to strong earnings growth, the company said in a trading update.

In May, National Grid said it planned to invest 12 billion pounds over the next five years to prepare the country's gas network for more imports and to upgrade an ageing power network.

At the time, the country's biggest utility posted an 11 percent rise in underlying profit to 1.92 billion pounds for the year to March 31.

National Grid runs about 4,500 miles (7,242 km) of power lines and 4,300 miles of gas pipelines in Britain.

Revenues from its networks are regulated.

It also distributes gas and runs a wireless communication mast business in Britain and will become the third biggest energy delivery firm in the United States after completion of its $11.8 billion (6.2 billion pound) acquisition of KeySpan Corp.

Shareholders approved the deal in August.

Its shares closed at 678 pence on Monday, valuing the group at around 18.5 billion pounds.