Rocketing electricity prices have helped drive half-year profits of International Power a bumper 69 per cent higher to £392 million, while the free cash flow has doubled to £268 million.
The stock market warmly welcomed this performance on a day when most share prices were reeling after the terrorist alert. At one time, International Power's were the only shares in the Footsie-100 to show a gain. They finished 101/4p higher at 3161/2p.
Since it was de-merged from the privatised National Power nearly six years ago, International Power has been buying and building power stations round the world, including the UK.
In Britain, these include the coal-fired generator at Rugeley, Staffordshire, which has benefited as the price of electricity has risen faster than that of coal.
The spread between the cost of its coal and the price of Rugeley's electricity has risen to £20 per megawatt hour from £13 in the first half of last year.
The profit contribution from Europe, including the UK, has jumped to £242 million from £116 million - and £283 million for the whole of 2005.
Chief executive Philip Cox expects energy prices to remain high for the medium term, but to fall back eventually. He declined to say when.
"Power prices are a feature of oil and gas markets so really it's a call on future oil and gas prices," he said. "If you look at the medium term oil and gas will be maintained."
International Power's chairman, Sir Neville Simms - previously of Tarmac and Carillion - was equally confident. "We expect 2006 to be a year of strong growth," he said.
Mr Cox added: "We are very active about looking for acquisitions.
"We are keeping an open mind as to what is the best utilisation of our resources, and we are looking at opportunities across our portfolio."
He confirmed that International Power is interested in becoming involved in building a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain.
"We keep an eye on nuclear, particularly anything that might affect the structure of the market in the UK," he said.
"If a potential partner with the right technical skills came forward who could complement our commercial skills then we would be looking into it, but that should not be taken as proof that we are about to do anything in the near future."
Shares closed up 10.25p at 316.5.