United Utilities flags boost in revenue and operating income from price increases

United Utilities has announced in its latest trading statement an expected year-on-year increase in group revenue and operating profit in its first half-year report of 2019/20 largely reflecting increased prices.

Lower infrastructure renewals expenditure are anticipated to lift operating income. The company expects “a small share of losses” from joint ventures.

Higher retail price index inflation applied to the group’s index-linked debt will, the company said, add just over £10m to underlying net finance expense for the first half of 2019/20 over the first half of last year.

“Our responsible approach to financial risk management continues to deliver benefits including a strong balance sheet, pension schemes that are now fully funded on a self-sufficiency basis and gearing comfortably within our target range of 55% to 65% net debt to RCV, supporting a solid A3 credit rating for United Utilities Water with Moody’s,” the report said.

It expected to announce £350m in additional investment including £100m of additional investment announced in May 2019 “targeting areas where we have the opportunity to deliver improved performance earlier in AMP7.”