May 23, 2019 / 6:19 AM / 3 months ago

United Utilities warns on renationalisation as profit rises

May 23 (Reuters) - United Utilities reported a rise in annual earnings on Thursday and was the second UK regional water provider this week to warn that the possibility of renationalisation under a future Labour government was a key area of uncertainty.

The blue-chip utility, which supplies water to 3 million homes and 200,000 businesses in the north-west of England, said underlying operating profit rose to 684.8 million pounds ($865.66 million) for the year ended March 31, from 645.1 million pounds a year earlier.

Although a UK election is not due until 2022, and opinion polls show the main opposition party falling far short of a majority, Labour’s proposals to offer shareholders less than half the current market value of utilities under a future re-nationalisation shook share values earlier this month.

$1 = 0.7911 pounds Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham

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