The United Utilities Board has proposed an interim dividend of 14.41 pence per ordinary share in respect of the six months ended 30 September 2020. This is an increase of 1.5 per cent compared with the interim dividend relating to last year, in line with the group's dividend policy of targeting a growth rate of CPIH inflation each year through to 2025. The inflationary increase of 1.5 per cent is based on the CPIH element included within the allowed regulated revenue increase for the 2020/21 financial year (i.e. the movement in CPIH between November 2018 and November 2019).
The interim dividend is expected to be paid on 1 February 2021 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 18 December 2020. The ex-dividend date is 17 December 2020.
Other financial highlights include:
Underlying profit after tax of £174m down 16%, reflecting new price control
Customer debtor position and household cash collection remain strong
Household bad debt stable in the first half at 1.8%
Strong balance sheet; A stable credit rating with Moody's
Pension schemes fully funded on a low dependency basis
Reaffirming responsible AMP7 dividend policy of growth in line with CPIH inflation