Veolia profits drop 25 per cent

French utility firm Veolia Environnement yesterday reported a 25 per cent drop in nine-month profit, as it sought to reassure investors that plans to reduce debt remained on track. The waste, water and energy firm said it could cut debt by up to €3bn (£2.4bn) in the fourth quarter by divesting several small assets, and the closure of its US waste business in the coming weeks.