The water company said service delivery across the wastewater business has again been very good throughout the year, particularly in the areas of private sewers and pollution incidents. Underlying performance across the water system had also improved year-on-year, reflecting significant investment and focus in this area, despite experiencing a small number of bursts which affect water service outcome delivery incentives (ODIs).
As a result of United Utilities’ good overall performance, the water company now expects to deliver a small net reward from its ODIs this year.
United Utilities’ operational performance improvements and strong customer focus continue to deliver measurable advances in customer satisfaction – reflected in the utility’s Service Incentive Mechanism (SIM) performance.
Latest scores indicate that United Utilities is in a leading position on Ofwat’s quantitative SIM among the water and sewerage companies. It is also one of the most improved companies this year on qualitative SIM, having achieved its best ever score. This means that United Utilities expect to be the top performing listed water and sewerage company on SIM for 2016/17.
The company said further improvements in operational performance and customer satisfaction are being delivered through continued acceleration of investment in assets across the five-year regulatory period.
Regulatory capital investment in 2016/17, including infrastructure renewals expenditure (IRE), is expected to be around £800 million this year and in line with the AMP6 business plan.
Group revenue is expected to be slightly lower than last year, reflecting the accounting impact of the Water Plus business retail joint venture, which completed on 1 June 2016, partly offset by allowed regulatory revenue changes.
Underlying operating profit for 2016/17 is expected to be moderately higher than 2015/16. IRE has increased slightly in the second half of the year, although full year IRE for 2016/17 is expected to be moderately lower than last year mainly due to a slightly different mix of capital investment.
Reported operating profit will be impacted by costs relating to non-household retail market reform and also restructuring within the business. These costs are expected to total around £16 million forthe full year, of which £8 million was recognised in the first half.