Half year results for the six months ended 30 September 2012

  • Continued progress on customer service: further improvement in Ofwat SIM scores 
  • Strong operational performance on Ofwat’s overall KPIs assessment
  • On track to meet regulatory outperformance targets
  • Effective delivery of capex programme: up 29% at £354m; expect to invest around £750m in 2012/13
  • Underlying operating profit down £8m to £316m, reflecting higher IRE3 and depreciation
  • Underlying profit before tax up £5m to £190m, benefiting from lower underlying net finance expense
  • Robust financial position: RCV gearing in the middle of Ofwat’s range and pension surplus
  • Interim dividend of 11.44 pence per share, in line with policy

Steve Mogford, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We have continued to deliver a better service to our customers and invest substantially in our network. Our sustained focus on operational performance across a broad front has seen us make a further improvement on Ofwat’s service incentive mechanism, building on a marked improvement last year, coupled with a strong performance on Ofwat’s overall KPIs assessment. Furthermore, we see plenty of scope to deliver additional improvements for customers.

“We are continuing to invest in our network for the benefit of our customers, the environment and the local economy. Since the start of the regulatory period in 2010, we have invested over £1.6 billion as we have sought to deliver a smoother and more effective investment profile. In the first half of this year, we have invested £354 million and now expect to invest around £750 million for the full year. In addition, we are on track to meet our regulatory leakage target for the seventh consecutive year.

“United Utilities is committed to continued positive engagement to support the progressive evolution of regulation in the water industry and we have submitted proposals to Ofwat in respect of its recent licence modifications consultation. We support the progression of retail competition for business customers and have already assembled a strong team. We have won our first customer out of our region and intend to pursue further opportunities as the market evolves.

“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.”

Read all the detail here

For further information on the day, please contact:

Gaynor Kenyon – Corporate Affairs Director +44 (0) 7753 622282
Darren Jameson – Head of Investor Relations +44 (0) 7733 127707
Ed Orlebar / Michelle Clarke – Tulchan Communications +44 (0) 20 7353 4200

A presentation to investors and analysts starts at 9.00 am on Wednesday 28 November 2012, at the Auditorium, Deutsche Bank, Winchester House, 1 Great Winchester Street, London, EC2N 2DB. The presentation can be accessed via a live listen in conference call facility by dialling: +44 (0) 20 7162 0025, access code 925146. A recording of the call will be available for seven days following Wednesday 28 November 2012 on +44 (0) 20 7031 4064, access code 925146.

This results announcement and the associated presentation will be available on the day at: http://corporate.unitedutilities.com/investors.aspx

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