United Utilities profits up 21 per cent

24-08-2006

United Utilities has announced a 21 per cent rise in its pre-tax profits, as the company continues to pursue outsourcing opportunities.

The company said its pre-tax profits for the year to March 31st were £481 million, up from £397 million a year ago.

Revenue from continuing operations was up 13 per cent from £2.1 billion to £2.38 billion.

Reports suggest that the company's rise in profits had been aided by higher usage charges imposed on United Utilities' customers.

Bills from the company's North West Water subsidiary rose by 8.4 per cent last April, while its electricity customers faced rises of 11.5 per cent.

The Warrington-based firm has also reduced the amount of water leaking from its pipes, reducing its leakage level across the year by around 50 megalitres per day, to 470 megalitres per day.

Its infrastructure management arm, United Utilities Contract Solutions, which outsources utility services, also saw the total value of its contracts reach £3.3 billion for the year. The business' order book now stands at around £5 billion.

The company said that its business process outsourcing arm, Vertex, had also secured a number of significant contracts throughout the year.

New contracts worth more than £40 million had been signed by Vertex's life and pensions business, United Utilities said, with further contracts worth more than £300 million also in the pipeline.

Welcoming the results, United Utilities chief executive Philip Green said: "These results underline continued progress for the group and highlight the benefits of leveraging our core utility skills to secure attractive outsourcing opportunities."

He added: "Looking ahead, our regulated businesses should continue to deliver strong profit growth."

"Our infrastructure management business has a robust order book and is well positioned to pursue further outsourcing opportunities," Mr Green concluded.




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