- Water group United Utilities said it expected report a rise in first-half revenue, though it would also invest an extra £80m this year to cope with higher demand following a spell of hot and dry weather.

Britain's particularly hot summer resulted in 'exceptional' demand for water, the company said.

To safeguard continuity of supplies, United earmarked £40m in increased operating costs and infrastructure spending, plus £40m of capital expenditure.

'These measures together with the cooler and wetter weather in August avoided the need for any water restrictions,' it added.

The increase in on-year revenue reflected allowed regulatory changes.

The extra operating costs would be booked as an adjusted item, meaning underlying operating profit, which stripped out adjusted items, was expected to rise on-year, too.

United also said it expected its underlying finance expense to be around £30m lower in the first half, due to a lower rate of retail price inflation being applied to its index-linked borrowings.

'Current trading is in line with the group's expectations for the six months ending 30 September 2018,' United Utilities said.

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