ESB has reported a profit after tax for last year of €415m, an increase of 23% on the year before. 

In 2013, ESB said it spent over €650m on its Irish infrastructure, and further reduced its operating costs. 

The company said that despite difficult economic conditions and more competition, the results reflected a solid performance across the group. 

The electricity company paid an interim dividend of €68.4m and also a special dividend of €161m in January from the proceeds from the sale of overseas generation assets last year. 

The ESB board has recommended a final dividend payment of €29.8m to the Government. This brings the total dividends for the past ten years to €1.2 billion.

ESB said it directly contributed over €2 billion to the Irish economy through dividends, investments, taxes and jobs. It employs 7,500 staff and more though contractors and service providers.

"Despite difficult economic conditions and increasing competition, these results reflect a very solid performance across the group," its chairman Lochlann Quinn said.

"ESB has protected its financial strength, which allows us to continue to fund critical energy infrastructure projects, compete effectively against international players and grow our business in the integrated GB / Ireland market. ESB continues to play an important role in the Irish economy and deliver benefits to its stakeholders," he added.