Severn taps into a price-rise boost

The cold, wet summer meant no need for extra watering on farms or gardens, sending Severn Trent's water consumption down nearly 3 per cent in the six months to October.

The utility firm said commercial consumption was lower than expected over summer, and household water use was also down. But a 5.2 per cent price rise left turnover up 3.6 per cent at £917.7m. After it upped investment in its sewers and water-treatment works to £239m, underlying pre-tax profit fell 2.6 per cent to £267.2m.