United Utilities trading in line despite tough climate

Tough market conditions in United Utilities' third quarter meant that the company was unable to increase revenue at the same rate as price rises.

Tough market conditions in United Utilities' third quarter meant that the company was unable to increase revenue at the same rate as price rises.

The water group said on Wednesday that trading since the first half (October 1st) has been in line with its expectations, with revenue continuing to increase at a rate "slightly below the slowed regulated price rise for 2012/13".

This reflects the ongoing impact of a tough economic climate on commercial volumes, the firm said. Furthermore, depreciation, power and other costs have also risen as expected which mostly offset the increase in revenue.

The company said that it continues to make "good progress" on its regulatory capital investment programme and remains on track to invest around £750m in its asset base in 2012/13.

"United Utilities is confident of delivering a good underlying financial performance for the year ending March 31st 2013 and continues to be on track to meet its 2010-15 regulatory outperformance targets," the firm said.

"The company remains strongly focused on building on its recent operational and customer service progress and sees plenty of scope to deliver further improvements."

Shares were up 0.81% at 746p in early trading on Wednesday.

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