- Water group United Utilities reported a 25% fall in first-half profit owing to a decline in the value of investments, though its underlying performance improved.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through September fell to £158.6m, down from £212.5m on-year, mainly reflecting 'fair value movements', the company said.

Revenue rose 2.1% to £935.5m, largely reflecting allowed regulatory revenue changes, while underlying profit rose 0.7% to £198.2m.

United Utilities declared an interim dividend of 14.20p per share, up 3.2% from 13.76p on-year.

'We are well prepared for the next regulatory period and are already moving forward with our implementation plans,' chief executive Steve Mogford said.

'This, together with the sustainable improvements in performance, gives us confidence that we will continue to create long-term value for all our stakeholders.'

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