United Utilities Water Outlook Turns Positive for S&P on Metrics

Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) — The upward revision of the outlook on the U.K.’s largest publicly traded water company reflects credit metrics that show “an increasing degree of headroom supported by financial outperformance in the 2010-2015 regulatory period to date,” Standard & Poor’s said.

The London-based ratings service that revised United Utilities Group Plc’s outlook to positive from stable said regulatory measures of operational performance are steadily improving with the company remaining “committed to its almost exclusive focus on the low-risk, regulated water sector.”

Revising the outlook on Warrington, England-based United Utilities and the water and waste service provider’s operating company to positive “reflects the possibility that we could upgrade the companies in the current regulatory period if the current trends continue,” it said in a statement.

United Utilities shares have risen 16 percent this year compared with a 5.3 percent gain by the five-member Bloomberg Europe Water Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Randall Hackley in London at rhackley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at rhackley@bloomberg.net

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