United Utilities H1 Pre-tax Earnings Rise, But Sales Fall

United Utilities Group Plc (UU.L,UUGRY.PK), a British water and wastewater services provider, on Wednesday reported a rise in pre-tax income for the first-half, amidst a decline in net finance expenses.

However, the firm posted a fall in revenue reflecting lower consumption more than offsetting the allowed regulatory revenue increase.

For the six-month to September 30, the UK-based firm recorded a pre-tax income of 426.3 million pounds, compared with 212.7 million pounds a year ago.

A rise in pre-tax earnings reflects a 255 million pounds decrease in reported net finance expense, from a 119 million pounds net finance expense in the first half of last year to a 136 million pounds net finance income.

Post-tax income was at 353 million pounds or 51.6 pence per share, versus a loss of 216.2 million pounds or 31.7 pence per share of previous year first-half. The company's tax for the period stood at 73.3 million pounds as against last year's 428.9 million pounds.

Operating income fell to 258.5 million pounds from 332.8 million pounds, reported for the first-half of 2021.

Investment income and finance expense was at 136.4 million pounds, compared with a loss of 118.3 million pounds of previous year.

Revenue was at 919.3 million pounds, lower than last year's 932.3 million pounds.

The company said that an interim dividend of 15.17 pence per share is expected to be paid on February 1, 2023 to shareholders on the register on December 23. The ex-dividend date for the interim dividend is December 22.

Looking ahead, for the fiscal 2022-23, the company expects its revenue to be around 1 percent lower than 2021-22.

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