Severn Trent sees profits slide but keeps bill increases down

Water company Severn Trent has reported a 5.8 per cent fall in underlying group profit before tax to £141.3m, but says it's on target to deliver its full year expectations.

In the six months ended 30 September, reported group profit suffered a 4.2 per cent loss to £255.7m. When it came to the rise in power costs, the company said that it "arose due to higher strike prices on our energy swaps." Group turnover increased just 0.5 per cent to £922.4m. Reported pre-tax profit was up 68.6 per cent to £191.2m.

Severn Trent's price rises have been below inflation, and the company says it continues to offer help for customers. Chief executive Tony Wray said:

Many customers are facing serious cost of living pressures and we aim to keep bills to the minimum with below inflation rises across the current regulatory period and help for customers through our range of social tariffs. We remain committed to keeping customers' bills down and to sharing the benefits of success with them.

The company has invested £91m to date of its £150m investment programme. It also invested £269m in capital projects, an increase of 12.5 per cent, progressing its response to Ofwat's so-called key performance indicators, leading to improved performance when it comes to mitigating serious pollution incidents, supply interruptions and sewage flooding.

Severn Trent recently announced that BT's Liv Garfield has been appointed as new chief executive officer, stepping into the breach in spring of 2014.