Advertisement

United Utilities helped by price rises in the first half

Revenues at water and sewage services group United Utilities edged higher in the first half, helped by regulated price increases.

Revenues at water and sewage services group United Utilities edged higher in the first half, helped by regulated price increases.

Turnover came in at £823m in the six months to the end of September, up from £793m the year before. However, this missed the £835m consensus forecast.

Nevertheless, the company said that the £30m year-on-year growth was down to regulated prices increases for 2012/13 of 5.8% nominal (0.6% real price increase plus 5.2% RPI inflation), however this was partially offset by reduced commercial volumes and lower property sales associated with the water business.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Underlying pre-tax profit came in £190m, up 3% year-on-year and slightly higher than the £188m analyst estimate. This was down to a lower net finance expense (reflecting lower RPI inflation), which outweighed a reduction in underlying operation profit.

Chief Executive Steve Mogford said: "The recent progress we have made reinforces our confidence in delivering our 2010-15 regulatory outperformance targets. Alongside our operational and customer service improvements, we have delivered another good financial performance despite a tough economic environment."

Gearing (measured as group net debt to regulatory capital value) was at 60% at the end of the period, within Ofwat's assumed range of 55% to 65%, "supporting a solid investment grade credit rating", the comp y said.

The firm declared an interim dividend of 11.44p per share, up 7.2% on last year's payment and in line with its dividend policy of targeting a growth rate of RPI+2% per annum through to at least 2015.

BC

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Broker safety – your questions answered
Investment strategy

Broker safety – your questions answered

Cris Sholto Heaton answers more of your questions about the safety of stockbroker accounts
25 Mar 2020
How demographics affects stock valuations
Investment strategy

How demographics affects stock valuations

New research suggests that stock and bond valuations are driven by the age of the population – at least in the US.
24 Feb 2020
Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now
Stocks and shares

Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now

Mining giant Anglo American has proposed a cash takeover of Yorkshire-based minnow Sirius Minerals. Unhappy shareholders must decide whether to accept…
20 Feb 2020
Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020
Stockmarkets

Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020

Analysts have been out in force making rosy predictions for stockmarkets in 2020, but while there is certainly a case for optimism, investors should r…
17 Jan 2020

Most Popular

An economics lesson from my barber
Inflation

An economics lesson from my barber

On reopening his shop after lockdown, Dominic Frisby’s barber doubled his prices. It’s all part of the post-Covid inflation process – and we’re going …
8 Jul 2020
What gold, bonds and tech stocks have in common
Stockmarkets

What gold, bonds and tech stocks have in common

"Risk off" or "safe haven" assets such as gold and government bonds have been doing well lately. But so have riskier tech stocks. That seems to defy c…
10 Jul 2020
House price crash: UK property prices are falling – so where next?
Property

House price crash: UK property prices are falling – so where next?

With UK property prices falling for the first time in eight years, are we about to see a house price crash? John Stepek looks at what’s behind the sli…
2 Jul 2020