UU forecasts increased revenue and profit
United Utilities (UU) expects its revenue and operating profit for the first half of its current financial year to be ahead of the same period last year.
In a trading statement announced today, UU said its current trading is in line with group expectations for the six months to September 30, adding that it "remains firmly on track" to deliver its 2010-15 regulatory outperformance targets.
UU said the higher revenue reflected the regulated price increase for 2013/14. As indicated previously, the revenue increase is expected to be slightly below the allowed regulated price rise, principally reflecting the on-going impact of a tough economic climate on volumes.
The group said it has made good progress on its regulatory capital investment programme and, it expects to invest around £800M in 2013/14, including infrastructure renewals expenditure.
Group net debt at September 30, 2013 is expected to be slightly higher than the position at March 31, 2013. This principally reflects expenditure on the regulatory capital investment programme, payment of the 2012/13 final dividend and payments in relation to interest and taxation, largely offset by operational cash flows and fair value gains on the group’s debt and derivative instruments.
Gearing remains stable and comfortably within Ofwat’s assumed range, supporting a solid A3 credit rating for United Utilities Water.
The company said it is well advanced in preparation of its business plan for the 2015-20 period following extensive consultation with customers, regulators and other stakeholders and is on track for plan submission to Ofwat by December 2 this year.
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