United Utilities profit £623m on £1.7bn revenue

Warrington-based United Utilities, the UK’s largest listed water company, said underlying operating profit rose £19 million to £623 million on revenue down £26 million to £1.704 billion in the year to March 31.

Analysts had expected a profit of £609 million.

The company’s shares edged lower to around 1,050p to give it a current stock market value of just more than £7 billion.

United Utilities CEO Steve Mogford said: “We have delivered a strong performance for our customers, shareholders and the environment in this second year of the 2015-20 regulatory period.

“This performance combined with our confidence in delivering a net outperformance over the regulatory period has enabled us to commit to a further £100 million of additional investment in the region.”

Total dividend will be 38.87p per share, up 1.1%.

The firm said total regulatory capital investment in the year, including £148 million of infrastructure renewals expenditure, was £804 million.

This was in line with company’s plans to accelerate its 2015-20 investment programme.

“As announced today, we will also make an additional £100 million of new investment available over the remainder of the 2015-20 period to improve resilience for customers and taking our five-year regulatory capex programme to c£3.6 billion,” said United Utilities.

Underlying profit before tax was down £19 million to £389 million.