- Utility services provider Telecom Plus warned that its annual profit would be at the lower end of its previous guidance range.

Adjusted pre-tax profit for the year through March were now expected at around £56m, by about 3.0% compared to the £54.3m posted in 2018.

The warning reflected the impact of a warm winter, an Ofgem price cap and modest initial losses associated with an expansion into new business areas.

Net debt had jumped to around £38m, up from £11.2m at the year end, reflecting higher working capital requirements 'associated with changes to the phasing of certain energy industry payments', higher technology investments and smart meter roll-out costs.

Dividends for the year were seen rising 4% to 52p per share.

Looking to the current financial year, Telecom Plus said it expected to grow adjusted pre-tax profit to between £60m and £65m, with a commensurate increase of around 10% in the total dividend to 57p per share.

'I am excited by the increasing confidence we are seeing amongst our partners, and the higher levels of activity this is generating,' chief executive Andrew Lindsay said.

'We anticipate this momentum will continue to build, delivering growth in customer and service numbers of around 5% and 10% respectively over the course of the coming year.'

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