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United Utilities expects rise in annual operating profits

UK's largest water company United Utilities expects to report an increase in annual profits despite rises in depreciation and power.

UK's largest water company United Utilities expects to report an increase in annual profits despite rises in depreciation and power.

Ahead of results for the year ending March 31st 2013, the firm said it was trading in line with expectations as it "continues to drive improvements in customer service and operational effectiveness".

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Revenue is pegged to increase at a rate slightly below the allowed regular price hike for 2012/13, reflecting the impact of a tough economic climate on commercial volumes.

However, underlying operating profit is forecast to climb on the previous year.

The company anticipates it will inject at least £750m on its regulatory capital investment programme in 2012/13, compared to £680m the year before.

Underlying net finance expenses for 2012/13 are expected to be moderately lower than a year earlier, as a result of lower retail price index inflation in respect of the group's index-linked debt.

Group net debt at the end of the period is likely to be higher than at September 30th 2012, due to expenditure on the regulatory capital investment programme, payment of the 2012/13 interim dividend and payments in relation to interest and tax, largely offset by operational cash flows.

RD

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