National Grid is standardising processes to make its business more efficient following the acquisition of US energy firm KeySpan.

The electricity and gas utility said it had established global centres for its UK and US "front line" business processes, IT and finance departments.

Three quarters of its activities could be managed on either a global basis or based on the line of business, the company judged, while only a quarter needed to be tailored to meet specific local requirements.

It said in a statement that it was “developing and deploying standardised procedures and processes for customer service, asset management and work delivery”, as it announced operating profits up 19% year-on-year at £1bn for the six months to 30 September.

“This framework provides an excellent platform for improving customer service, reliability, safety and environmental performance,” the company said. It expected to make "significant" savings on its annual £2bn cost base as a result of the changes.

In May, National Grid sold its UK Wireless business to Arqiva, a subsidiary of Australia’s Macquarie Bank, for £2.5bn, in order to focus on its core electricity and gas operations.

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