Infrastructure investments over the last 12 months have paid off for water treatment and supply organisation United Utilities. The company, which focuses on the north west of the UK, also stated that it is continuing to develop its infrastructure.
Profits before tax rose by 17 per cent to £476 million and underlying operating profit increased by seven per cent to £677m, for the water company. “We are confident of delivering a strong financial performance over the remainder of this regulatory period and continued investment in our assets will help to raise environmental standards further and improve the service we offer to customers,” chief executive Philip Green said. Capital expenditure at the company also increased, rising by 26 per cent to £826m, £120m of which was on the renewal of the organisation’s infrastructure.
Expenditure on the infrastructure overhaul increased by 45 per cent on last year. A top priority is reducing water wastage through leakage, which is monitored by Ofwat, the sector regulator. Earlier this year the company adopted a PDA based leak reporting technology for its engineers. The system is already used by Anglian and South West Water. United Utilities believe the technology will save them £280,800 and 450 man-hours a year once the system is fully operational. “We are on track to deliver our regulatory capital programme and have spent £826m on our infrastructure during the year,” Green said.
“Our focus on improving operational performance is delivering results. We have improved the level of customer service we are providing,” Green said of the ongoing plans to improve the infrastructure at the United Utilities. Amongst its plans is an integrated performance management project, which will increase remote site management of facilities such as pumping stations. This in turn will require fewer staff on remote sites. A workforce management project is also underway which aims to improve the data systems at United Utilities. By improving the data the company is seeking to improve the information is supplies to engineers and remote workers, improve its supply chain and the customer services.
United Utilities said, “There is a strong drive to customer service and the business is focusing on reducing the number of customer queries, improving staff productivity, implementing improved cash collection procedures and enhancing the overall customer experience.