United Utilities reports ‘strong’ start to year with 10 per cent profit rise

Chief executive, Steve Mogford says the company has transformed from a ‘sleeping giant’ to one of the industry’s ‘leaders’

United Utilities has reported a 10 per cent increase in profit to £344 million for the first half of the year, supported by a combination of regulatory changes, property sales and cutting costs.

The water company’s revenue also rose by 2.7 per cent to £876 million for the six months ending 30 September, according to results published today (22 November).

Total regulatory capital investment was £394 million for the period and the company said it is on track to spend £800 million for the full year, including infrastructure renewals expenditure.  

Steve Mogford, chief executive of United Utilities, told Utility Week he was “happy” with the company’s performance as it continues to “deliver improvements” for customers.

“The company has gone from somewhat of a sleeping giant a few years ago to one of the leaders in the industry,” he said.

Mogford explained customers are a “particular focus” for the company, indicating he was pleased with significant improvements made in recent years to customer satisfaction.

In a statement issued with the release of the company’s half-year results, he said: “This has been a strong first half performance in which we have delivered further value for customers and shareholders.

“We continue to put customers first, achieving significant further improvements in customer satisfaction, and positioning us as a leader in our sector. This is a significant achievement in a region seeing some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country. Average bills are set to reduce in real terms over the 10-year period to 2020 and we expect to double the number of customers we help through our award-winning affordability schemes over AMP6.”

He added: “Our innovative Systems Thinking approach to running the business is delivering increasingly efficient and resilient services. By investing earlier than our original plans for this regulatory period we are accelerating the delivery of value to customers and shareholders, and positioning the business as sector leading as we approach the next regulatory cycle.”

Mogford told Utility Week more than 750,000 people have now registered online and the company’s digital portal is giving customers the opportunity to self-serve, while its app can also alert people if there is an issue.

“It’s about being a responsible business and demonstrating integrity,” he said. “Transparent reporting is important, and we try to benchmark ourselves against the best, not just in the water sector but outside of it as well.”

United Utilities’ results were in-line with the group’s expectations in a trading statement issued in September. 

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