- Water utility United Utilities said it expected to report a rise in annual revenue and underlying profit, though its bottom line result would be dented by a series of costs.

Revenue for the year through March would rise mostly thanks to allowed regulatory price increases.

Current trading is in line with the group's expectations for the year ending 31 March 2019.

Underlying profit would be higher, too, but reported operating profit would be hit by costs relating to exceptionally dry weather in the summer of 2018.

Other costs hitting the bottom line would include pension and restructuring expenses.

In all, those costs were expected to total £52m for the full year, of which £29m was recognised in the first half.

The RPI inflation that was applied to the group's index-linked debt was lower than last year, so United Utilities said it expected its underlying net finance expense would be around £45m lower on-year.

'As the company continues to invest in its asset base, we expect a small increase in group net debt at 31 March compared with the position as at 30 September 2018,' it added.

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