POWER generation firm Drax has pledged its commitment to its 100 staff in Oxford, saying it plans to expand its base here.

Jonathan Kini, chief executive of Drax Retail, was speaking as half-year results were announced for the Group.

Drax bought Banbury Road-based Opus Energy for £367m in January.

Mr Kini said: We have over 100 employees in Oxford that are dedicated to Opus and we stand very committed behind those.

“As we grow Opus, we look to grow opportunities across those businesses.”

He added: “We have some very talented people in Oxford on our commercial and finance side and are very happy and supportive of the work they are doing for us.”

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up £51m year-on-year, from £70m to £121m for the half year to June 30.

But acquisition costs, including the purchase of Opus, plus £65m of foreign exchange losses – the firm buys fuel in US dollars and sells energy in British pounds - sent underlying earnings per share down.

The half-year figures showed improved earnings from renewable energy, including biomass, as Drax gradually moves its business away from coal, in line with government targets to reduce carbon emissions.

In its financial statement, the firm reported integration of Opus Energy into the Drax Group was ‘proceeding well’ and reported ‘a focus on research and innovation’.

Drax, which runs Selby power station, contributes 14,000 jobs and £1.2bn to the UK economy, according to researchers at Oxford Economics.