Pennon latest firm to cut back water bill hike
29 November 2013 12:53am
FTSE 250-listed Pennon, which owns South West Water, yesterday said it would keep water bill increases in line with inflation next year, as it unveiled half-year results broadly in line with expectations.
The utility and waste management firm has increased its dividend by 7.2 per cent, in-keeping with company policy to grow shareholder payouts by four per cent above inflation.
Pennon group’s pre-tax profit grew by 3.5 per cent to £110.9m over the first half of the year, while South West Water’s pre-tax profit increased by 7.6 per cent to £87.3m.
“South West Water is continuing its strong performance against the 2010 to 2015 regulatory contract and is well placed to outperform its assumptions,” said chairman Ken Harvey.
Pennon plans to increase bills by less than inflation over the 2015 to 2020 period in its business plan, which will be submitted on 2 December.
Political pressure has been growing on utility companies to keep customers’ bills down and peer United Utilities said on Wednesday that it plans to keep prices in line with inflation next year.
But Thames Water had a proposed eight per cent price hike rejected by regulator Ofwat earlier this month.
Pennon’s waste management firm Viridor posted a 14.3 per cent decline in profit before interest and taxes (PBIT), but the company reiterated its full year guidance of flat PBIT.
Shares closed up 0.9 per cent in London at 644p.
In other news
There were delays of up to 30 minutes to trains in and out of Kings Cross Station, after the station was re-opened [Read more]
When a 20-year-old footballer publicly declares he wants to leave a club and his agent hurls insults at one of [Read more]
The outbreak of bird flu in the US is leading to an unprecedented situation for companies reliant on eggs – [Read more]
Germany's finance ministry has denied reports it was considering offering Greece its own parallel currency. [Read more]
Chancellor George Osborne was given a boost today, as higher tax receipts helped shrink the deficit by more than [Read more]
Beleaguered spread-betting firm Plus500 today suspended trading in its shares on London's junior market, following [Read more]
The news that card and electronic transactions have overtaken cash as the UK’s preferred method of payment is [Read more]
Despite the crippling effect of election uncertainty, offers received in April were up 15 per cent on last year [Read more]
Former secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles is to be knighted, 10 Downing Street [Read more]
Network Rail engineers have destroyed the Abbey Wood station as part of the Crossrail development that is expected [Read more]
The Championship looks set to once again be named the fourth most-watched league in Europe, following a seven [Read more]
The Costa Coffee owner said Brittain was "the standout candidate from a very strong field". [Read more]
Sugary foods may be taxed to cover the costs of treating obesity, a government minister has said.
European governments must increase efforts to adopt structural reform if “lasting stability and prosperity” [Read more]
Accounting, finance and economics - choose to study any of these subjects anywhere and you'll be likely to land [Read more]
Badly-behaved bosses are a nightmare if you're the unfortunate employee who has to work for them - but they're [Read more]