United Utilities' profits hit by water meters

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The Independent Online

Britons switching from estimated bills to water meters have stopped United Utilities' profits rising as much as they could have from the new year's regulated price increases.

United's chairman, John McAdam, said businesses are also using less water. He said revenue increase from industry regulator Ofwat's allowed price rises were also offset by "higher levels of infrastructure renewals expenditure" after the Government decided to make water companies –rather than households – responsible for many sewers and drainpipes.

In the northwest, United took ownership of more than 32,000km of extra wastewater pipes.

United said its capital investment would be £700m in the 2012 financial year. The water provider added that it would have a tax credit of £50m thanks to the Coalition's cutting corporation tax from 24 per cent to 23 per cent.