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United Utilities H1 Profit Rises; Hikes Interim Dividend - Quick Facts

United Utilities Group PLC (UU.L,UUGRY.PK) reported profit before tax of 259.6 million pounds for the half year ended 30 September 2018, up from 242.3 million pounds in the year-ago period. Earnings per share were 31.2 pence, compared to 28.9 pence last year.

Underlying profit before tax increased to 240.3 million pounds from 194.3 million pounds last year, largely reflecting the 24 million pounds increase in underlying operating profit, and the 24 million pounds decrease in underlying net finance expense. Underlying earnings per share were 28.9 pence, compared to 23.5 pence a year ago.

Revenue for the half year grew to 916.4 million pounds from 876.0 million pounds last year, largely reflecting the company's allowed regulatory revenue changes.

Looking ahead, Steve Mogford, Chief Executive Officer of United Utilities said, "The significant progress we have made positions us well for the remainder of the current regulatory period and beyond. We have responded well to the challenges brought about by the impact of more variable weather and have created a platform for continuing strong operational performance."

The company's board of directors has proposed an interim dividend of 13.76 pence per ordinary share, an increase of 3.9 percent, in line with its policy of targeting an annual growth rate of at least RPI inflation through to 2020.

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