United may float telecoms division
Friday 29 May 1998
The chief executive, Derek Green, said turnover from telecommunications tripled last year to pounds 23.4m as business customers such as Manchester Airport switched to its fibre network for data and voice services.
But United believes there is potential to use Digital PowerLine technology to deliver faster and cheaper Internet connections to 2.2 million homes in United's core northwest market using existing electricity cables. Mr Green said: "This is a nice business similar to Colt which is a stock market darling. If we continue to get a low utility rating we will need to float [telecommunications] in whole or part."
Analysts agreed the business was exciting but said United, which controls Norweb and North West Water, would be judged in the near term on the way it was treated by its industry regulators.
Set up three years ago, the telecommunications arm lost pounds 5.2m last year but this was translated into a pounds 200,000 profit in the 12 months to 31 March. United admits a flotation is unlikely in the next two years.
Like other utilities, United is keen to expand outside of its traditional water, gas and electricity distribution whose future profitability will be held back by tighter regulation.
Yesterday the group revealed a profit before tax and exceptional items up 3.7 per cent year on year to pounds 460.5m. Turnover from continuing operations rose 2.3 per cent to pounds 2.1bn and United unveiled a final underlying dividend of 27.64p making 40.8p for the year, up 9.7p. Its shares closed up 9.5p at 828p.
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Kenya bus attack: Primary school head teacher plays dead to escape slaughter by Islamic extremists
Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
iJobs Money & Business
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...