LONDON -- The shares of National Grid (LSE: NG.L) (NYSE: NGG) slipped 0.4% to 691 pence during London trade today, offering dividend investors a potential 5.9% income.

The FTSE 100 member confirmed this morning that its half-year payout had been raised 4% to 14.49 pence per share. The electricity and gas company also said the payout for the year as a whole ought to be lifted by 4% as well. The news implied shareholders should expect to receive a current-year dividend of 40.85 pence per share.

The dividend details came alongside first-half results that showed National Grid's headline profit improve 17% to 1.7 billion pounds. However, adjusted for currency movements, regulatory revenue caps, and the costs of storm damage, underlying profit advanced 7% to 1.6 billion pounds.

Steve Holliday, National Grid's chief executive, said: "I am pleased with the progress we made in the first half of the year: operating our networks safely and reliably and delivering a record level of investment. More recently, our teams in the U.S. responded in a timely, safe and effective way to restore service to our customers and limit disruption caused by 'Superstorm' Sandy."

Holliday claimed the cost of restoring power to the group's U.S. customers following Sandy would not exceed 100 million pounds. Such costs will be accounted for within the group's second half. Looking ahead, Holliday reckons National Grid is "well positioned to deliver another year of good operating and financial performance."

Prior to today, City experts were predicting that fiscal 2013 earnings would advance 7% to 55 pence per share. The projection places National Grid's shares on a possible P/E of 12.5. But for most investors, it is the aforementioned 5.9% income that is the main attraction to this share.

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