StockMarketWire.com - Northumbrian Water Group said revenue increased by 1% to £351.2m in the half-year to end-September and pretax profit rose 12.8% to £87m.

However, the group said it continues to be affected by the economic downturn.

Adjusted EPS were up 18.5% at 12.85p and an interim dividend of 4.39p per share was proposed, up 2.3% from 4.29p.

Net debt at period end was £2.25bn, up 3.5% from £2.174bn in the prior year period.

Regulated capital investment in the period wasf £108.7m (2008: £109.3m) and the group is meeting regulatory targets, including an extended sewer flooding programme.

Funds are in place to meet the requirements of the business for the next two years (Cash and short term deposits at end-September of £215.5m).

Ofwat's draft determination proposals will allow average annual household bills to rise, in real terms, by £3 over the five year period with an investment programme of £1.2bn (2007/08 prices). Ofwat's final determination will be published on 26th November 2009.

Managing Director, John Cuthbert, said, 'Over the last six months the Group has produced good financial and operational results against a difficult economic background. Group companies continue to deliver against regulatory and contractual obligations.

'Income and costs at Northumbrian Water have been adversely affected in the period by business closures in the north east and this has partially offset the growth from tariff increases. Following the draft determination published in July, representations have been made to the industry regulator, Ofwat, and the final determination on the price limits to apply for the five years from April 2010 will be published on 26th November.' Story provided by Business Financial Newswire