UU boss pledges water bills will fall as profits climb

United Utilities reservoir

The chief executive of water company United Utilities has pledged average water bills will reduce “in real terms” over the 10-year period to 2020 after the company reported half-year underlying pre-tax profits of £194m.

That figure for the six months to September 30 is up £5m on the same period last year, while revenue is up £23m to £876m.

Its total net regulatory capital investment in the first half of the year, including £70m of infrastructure renewals expenditure, was £394m.

The company said it remains on track to deliver a total of around £800m of regulatory capex for the full year.

CEO Steve Mogford said it had been “a strong first-half performance” in which the Warrington-based company had delivered “further value for customers and shareholders”.

He went on: “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 ten year period to 2020 and we expect to double the number of customers we help through our award winning affordability schemes over AMP6.”

AMP6 is the sixth asset management period whereby privatised water boards tendered contracts to construction firms to help keep infrastructure properly maintained, the first of which started in the late 1980s.

UU said it had achieved a further 22% reduction in complaints against the same period last year and a 48% reduction in “stage two” complaints.

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