The United Utilities Board has proposed an interim dividend of 16.59 pence per ordinary share in respect of the six months ended 30 September 2023. This is an increase of 9.4 per cent compared with the interim dividend last year, in line with the group's dividend policy of targeting a growth rate of CPIH inflation each year through to 2025. The 9.4 per cent increase is based on the CPIH element included within allowed regulated revenue for the 2023/24 financial year (i.e. the movement in CPIH between November 2021 and November 2022).
The interim dividend is expected to be paid on 1 February 2024 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 22 December 2023. The ex-dividend date for the interim dividend is 21 December 2023. The election date for the Dividend Reinvestment Plan is 11 January 2024.
Other Financial Highlights:
Underlying operating profit of £271m, reported operating profit of £241m
Underlying EPS of 13.2p, up from -1.8p, reported EPS of 17.1p
Low level of gearing at 59% and solid credit ratings providing future financial flexibility
Pension scheme buy-in transaction, covering around 2/3rds of liabilities and representing a significant milestone in their de-risking journey
AMP7 funding in place, liquidity extending into 2026