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United Utilities Profit Drops on Higher Water Treatment Spending

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May 24 (Bloomberg) -- United Utilities Plc, the U.K.’s largest publicly traded water company, said full-year profit before tax fell 14 percent on higher investment at its water and wastewater treatment facilities.

Profit before tax for the year ended March 31 dropped to 280.4 million pounds from 327.1 million pounds a year earlier, the Warrington, England-based company said in a statement today. Sales rose 3.4 percent to 1.56 billion pounds. The company will pay a dividend of 32.01 pence a share.

United Utilities spent 154 million pounds renewing its water and wastewater facilities, 24 million pounds more than a year earlier. Its total capital investment over the fiscal year was 680 million pounds. Targets set by the U.K.’s Water Services Regulation Authority require that United Utilities spend over 3 billion pounds through 2015 on its facilities and network.

“Our focus on operational performance is delivering further service improvements for customers,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Mogford said in the statement. “We remain on course to meet our regulatory outperformance targets.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Kari Lundgren in London at klundgren2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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