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United Utilities sees higher profit as office water usage rebounds

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(Reuters) -Britain's United Utilities said on Monday it expects higher first-half profit and revenue as workplace water consumption improves after the easing of pandemic curbs, while household demand remains high due to remote working.

The company, one of the largest publicly traded water utilities in the country, said half-yearly underlying revenue is expected to rise by around 4%. It reported revenue of 894.4 million pounds for the six months ended September 2020.

British water utilities had been struggling with a sharp drop in non-household consumption and rising defaults during the early stages of the pandemic. However, trends have improved since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in mid-July.

United Utilities said underlying profit would rise despite higher costs due to inflationary pressures.

In May, the utility firm predicted marginally lower revenue for the year ending March 2022, because of regulatory changes in inflation accounting.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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