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United Utilities plans for increased capital expenditure

Water company United Utilities said it expects its capital spending to rise and operating profit to fall in the second half of the financial year.

United Utilities said that in line with the planned phasing of the capital investment programme, it expected infrastructure renewals expenditure and depreciation to be higher in the second half of 2010/11 compared with the first six months of the financial year.

Total regulatory capital expenditure is expected to amount to over £600M for the year, compared to £441M in the first year of the previous five-year AMP period.

Regulated underlying operating profit is therefore anticipated to be somewhat lower in the second half of 2010/11, compared with the first half, said the company.

United Utilities said its network sustained an increased number of leaks this winter due to the prolonged freeze experienced across the UK and the subsequent thaw, but it said additional costs associated with the adverse weather “were not significant”.

The company said it is on track to deliver a solid underlying financial performance for the year ending 31 March 2011. It will announce its full year results on 26 May.

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