NORTH West water and wastewater company United Utilities reported higher revenues and profits for the six months to September 30 today.
The Warrington-based group saw turnover jump from £792.7m to £822.9m and pre-tax profits improve from £124.4m to £135.6m.
It said underlying profits before tax, which it claims give a more representative view of business performance, rose slightly from £184.9m at the same time last year to £189.7m.
The group continues to make progress on customer service levels, overseen by the regulator Ofwat, and its leakage targets, which it said it is on track to meet again.
Its capital expenditure programme to refurbish and renew its networks and facilities was 29% up in the first six months at £354m, and the group expects to invest a total of £750m in works during the financial year.
United Utilities said it also has a “robust” financial position, with gearing, or borrowing levels, in the middle of Ofwat’s range and, unlike many companies, a pension surplus.
Chief executive Steve Mogford said today: “We have continued to deliver a better service to our customers and invest substantially in our network.
“Our sustained focus on operational performance across a broad front has seen us make a further improvement on Ofwat’s service incentive mechanism, building on a market improvement last year, coupled with a strong performance on Ofwat’s overall KPIs (key performance indicators) assessment.
“Furthermore, we see plenty of scope to deliver additional improvements for customers.”
He added: “The recent progress we have made reinforces our confidence in delivering out 2010-2015 regulatory outperformance targets.
“Alongside our operational and customer service improvements, we have delivered another good financial performance, despite a tough economic environment.”
The interim dividend for shareholders of 11.44p per share, in line with group policy, compares with 10.67p per share a year ago.