Belfast Telegraph

Rise in profits for Severn Trent after fewer leaks and floods

Utility giant Severn Trent has reported a rise in full-year profits after the firm was boosted by fewer leaks and floodings.

Britain's biggest listed water company said underlying pre-tax profit rose 4.3% to £525 million in the year to March as turnover increased 3.7% to £1.8 billion.

Severn Trent, which claims to have the lowest combined average bills in Britain at £341 per year, added it has seen a reduction in sewer floodings, supply interruptions and leakages following £680 million of investment.

The group's full-year net customer outcome delivery incentive reward, doled out for meeting targets such as improving customer service, was £47.6 million.

Severn Trent also said total efficiency savings will now total £770 million by 2020, up £100 million.

Chief executive Liv Garfield said: "We are delivering both strong customer-focused and financial outperformance this regulatory period, and we feel it is now appropriate to share this with our investors.

"The board is therefore pleased to announce an upgrade to our ordinary dividend policy, to growth of at least RPI +4%."

The company proposed a final dividend of 48.9p, taking the full-year dividend to 81.5p.

Shares rose 2% to 2.498p in morning trading.