United Utilities FY Pre-tax Profit Down

United Utilities Group Plc. (UU.L,UUGRY.PK), a British water and wastewater services provider, reported that profit before tax for year ended 31 March 2023 decreased to 256.3 million pounds from last year’s 439.9 million pounds reflecting the 169 million pounds decrease in reported operating profit and a 48 million pounds increase in reported net finance expense, partly offset by a 31 million pounds profit on disposal of subsidiary United Utilities Renewable Energy Limited, and a decrease in the share of losses of joint ventures of 2 million pounds.

Profit after tax for the year was 204.9 million pounds or 30.0 pence per share compared to a loss of 56.8 million pounds or 8.3 pence per share in the prior year.

Operating profit at 441 million pounds was 169 million pounds lower than last year, largely reflecting the decrease in revenue, inflation impacting core cost base and the impact of operational incidents as a result of extreme weather during the year.

Annual revenue was down 38 million pounds, at 1.82 billion pounds, largely reflecting lower consumption more than offsetting the allowed regulatory revenue increase.

The Board has proposed a final dividend of 30.34 pence per ordinary share in respect of the year ended 31 March 2023. Taken together with the interim dividend of 15.17 pence per ordinary share, paid in February, this results in a total dividend per ordinary share for 2022/23 of 45.51 pence. This is an increase of 4.6 percent compared with the dividend relating to last year.

The final dividend is expected to be paid on 1 August 2023 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 26 June 2023. The ex-dividend date is 22 June 2023. The election date for the Dividend Reinvestment Plan is 11 July 2023.

The company expects revenue to increase by around 150 million pounds in 2023/24, largely reflecting the November 2022 CPIH inflation of 9.3 per cent, partially offset by a 20 million pounds net impact of over/under-recovery during 2022/23 and 2021/22.

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