- Severn Trent's underlying profit before interest and tax (PBIT) increased by 4.4% to £287.8 million in the six months to 30 September, driven by the acquisition of Dee Valley, operating cost control and lower infrastructure spend.

Group turnover from continuing operations was £850.4 million, an increase of 3.7%, mainly due to allowed price increases in the Severn Trent Regulated Water and Waste Water business, the acquisition of Dee Valley and growth in both Business Services businesses.

There were exceptional gains of £8.3 million arising from a further pension increase exchange arrangement that has been agreed with the trustees of the Severn Trent Pension Scheme.

Reported group PBIT was £296.1 million, down slightly from £296.7 million the year before.

Net finance costs were £110.5 million (2016/17: £98.5 million) reflecting the impact of higher RPI, the effective cash cost of interest was around 20 basis points lower compared to the same period last year.

The company achieved a 38% reduction in internal sewer floodings and a 50% reduction in external floodings.

It is now generating the equivalent of 38% of energy needs from renewables and is on track for 50% by 2020.

Liv Garfield, chief executive of Severn Trent, said: "Our customer-first approach is delivering positive results. It is also clear in today's society that businesses, including the water sector, are under increasing scrutiny and greater pressure to explain their contribution to society beyond financial profit. We need to make sure our decisions strike the right balance between all of our stakeholders and show we run our business in a sustainable and responsible way."

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