United Utilities has delivered a rise in full year profit on the back of a strong operational performance, which fed through to the quality of service received by its customers.
Underlying operating profit for the period totalled £607.1m (2012: £594.1m), while underlying profit before tax rose to £354.3m (2012: £327.0m), reflecting the reduction in the mainstream UK corporation taxation rate.
Reported profit before tax came to £304.7m up from £280.4m a year earlier, on revenues of £1,636.0m (2012: £1,564.9m), which increased largely as a result of the impact of the regulated price increase for 2012/13 of 5.8% nominal - although this was partially offset by reduced volumes and the ongoing impact of customers switching to meters.
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The group issued a dividend of 34.32p for the 12-month period, up from 32.01p the previous year.
Steve Mogford, Chief Executive Officer, said: "Customer satisfaction with our service continues to improve, underpinned by strong operational and environmental performance. We are improving the quality and reliability of our infrastructure and, across the 2010-15 period, expect to reinvest around £200m of capital expenditure outperformance for the benefit of our customers and the environment.
"We accelerated our capital investment programme and invested £787m in the year, taking the total investment in our network, since the start of the regulatory period in 2010, to just over £2.0bn, providing an important contribution to the North West economy. We are delivering a smoother and more effective programme and we expect to invest around a further £800m in 2013/14."
The group also said it remains on track or ahead of schedule in meeting
its five-year regulatory outperformance targets.
Net debt at the year-end totalled £5,451m, compared with £5,076m at March 31st 2012.
Cash and cash equivalents declined to£ 182.5 from £312.1m a year earlier.
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