Mixed bag as UK water plc reporting season kicks off

Published November 23rd, 2017

The first three UK water and sewerage companies to report their interim figures for 2017/18 recorded significantly different year-on-year performances.

United Utilities was the most buoyant, increasing its underlying operating profit by just over 10% to £344 million on revenues that were marginally up (2.6%) from £853 million to £876 million.

At Severn Trent, meanwhile, a 4.4% increase in the underlying profit figure to £287.8 million was more in line percentage-wise with the 3.7% rise in the company’s turnover to £850.4 million (from £820 million in 2016/17).

At Welsh Water, however, higher depreciation and amortisation costs meant the operating profit fell sharply – by more than 13% to £49.5 million – on revenues that rose by less than 1% to £377.3 million.

All three companies reported hikes in financing costs, mainly as a consequence of the impact that a rise in the Retail Price Index (RPI) had had on their index-linked debt.