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FTSE 100 water company Severn Trent has pledged to sell off its surplus land, which it said would help supply the British housing market with extra homes and stop it having to raise prices.
Alongside announcing its half-year results, the utility groups chife executive Liv Garfield said “in maximising value from our assets for the longer term, we today announce plans to sell land made available through operational efficiency. This strategy will create benefits for our customers, communities and investors.”
The group said the land sales would result in extra profits before interest and tax of £5m to £15m per year, or circa £100m over the next five years.
“This will help keep bills low, as a proportion of profits will be shared with customers,” the group said in its results statement. “These plans will benefit our communities, help to address the housing shortage and create new jobs.”
Following complaints to Ofwat by people affected by sewer flooding, which resulted in the water regulator accusing Severn Trent of “very poor customer service”, Ms Garfield said the utility had reduced sewer flooding by 48 per cent.
In the six months to September, Severn Trents’ turnover rose by 4 per cent to £850m. Pre-tax profits were flat on the same time last year at £182m. The group will pay an interim dividend of 34.6p per share.