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United Utilities profit to drop in line with expectations

United Utilities said annual profit would fall in line with its expectations because of lower revenue and higher infrastructure spending.
The water company said cash collection remained strong as the year to the end of March approached and that its financial assistance schemes would limit any continuing economic impact from Covid-19.

Annual revenue will fall by about 3% from a year earlier and underlying operating profit will decline because of lower revenue and higher infrastructure renewals spending. Underlying net finance expense will be about £100m lower because of lower payments on index-linked debt and changes to alternative performance measures.

The FTSE 100 group said it expected to convert £32.5m of working capital loans to its Water Plus joint venture with Severn Trent into long-term fixed capital.

“We have continued to perform strongly during the Covid-19 pandemic and to deliver excellent operational performance,” United Utilities said. “Current trading is in line with the group’s expectations for the year ending 31 March 2021.

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