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United Utilities rises as trading remains in line with expectations

Jessica Morris
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The water company is in the middle of a huge spending programme (Source: Getty)

Shares in United Utilities rose as much as 1.27 per cent to 998.50p per share today after it said first half trading remained in line with expectations.

The London-listed firm expects group revenue to be slightly lower in the first half of 2016-17 due to the accounting impact of its Water Plus joint venture with Severn Trent.

But underlying operating profit during this period is likely to come in "marginally higher" than a year earlier, it added.

United Utilities' issued a disappointing set of results in the first half of 2015 which it blamed on regulator Ofwat's new price controls.

Infrastructure renewals expenditure will be slightly lower year-on-year in the first half, but this should increase in the following six months due to the phasing of its five year £3.5bn spending plan.

The company's group net debt at 30 September 2016 is also expected to be slightly higher than the position at 31 March but its debt-to-equity ratio remains "comfortably within our target range".

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