United Utilities on track despite the recession hitting revenues

Suzie Neuwirth
FTSE 100-listed United Utilities yesterday said that trading had been in line with expectations for the past six months and that it “remains firmly on track” to deliver its targets.

The utility firm said that revenue is expected to be higher this year than the first half of last year due to the regulator Ofwat’s price hike, but said that it was not as high as it could be due to the “on-going impact of a tough economic climate on volumes”.

Many factories and other businesses have shut down or scaled down during the recession, which means they use less water.

Operating profit for the first half of the 2013-14 financial year is expected to be moderately higher than the previous year as the company has cut costs.

United Utilities – which has been the subject of takeover rumours due to the attractiveness of the few remaining publicly listed utility firms – said it plans to invest around £800m in 2013-14 on renewing infrastructure and improving services for customers.

Shares rose 2.3 per cent to 707.5p.