Profits drop at United Utilities as household bills reduce during pandemic

United Utilities saw its annual pre-tax profit drop by 21 per cent to £383m due to lower water consumption and higher infrastructure spending.

The drop in profit was in line with expectations as the water firm continued to provide services to more than 7m people.

Revenues for the year ending 31 March stood at £1.8bn, down  2.8 per cent on last year, largely reflecting the typical customer bill reduction, the group said.

Throughout the Covid crisis, its household bills were reduced by four per cent to help 200,000 customers with affordability support.

United Utilities said it had also set up £15m of new social tariffs to help those most struggling to pay their bills.

Steve Mogford, CEO at United Utilities, said: “The pandemic has been particularly challenging for our region, so we have responded by increasing the number of people eligible for extra financial support, with £15m of new social tariff to help those most in need.

“At a time when purpose matters more than ever, it is right that we lead the way in the sector, by offering this level of support to people struggling to pay their bills.

“Protecting and improving the environment is one of our core responsibilities, including the quality of the water we return to our rivers and coastlines.

Steve Mogford

“We also have a duty to respond to climate change, which is why we’ve planted two million trees since 1995 and plan to plant another million by 2030.

“We’ve also spent £250m to make our services more resilient to changes in weather patterns.

“We’re delighted to be a signatory to the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign and to be targeting net zero by 2030.

“In support of this, we’re delivering on our six carbon pledges, including a commitment to meet our science-based targets, to have a completely ‘green’ fleet of vehicles by 2028 and to restore 1,000 hectares of peatland by 2030.”

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