09.06.04

9.6.2004: Meldung: Severn Trent Plc: Preliminary Results for the year to 31 March 2004

Severn Trent Plc
Preliminary Results for the year to 31 March 2004

GOOD FULL YEAR RESULTS
INCREASED OVERALL PROFITS FROM NON-REGULATED BUSINESSES
SEVERN TRENT WATER CONTINUES TO OUTPERFORM

Financial and operating highlights

Group
- Turnover up 8.8% to £2,015.1m (£1,852.0m)
- PBITA* up 7.5% to £440.6m (£409.8m); PBIT of £422.4m (£343.8m)
- Profit* before tax and goodwill amortisation up 8.9%
to £272.6m (£250.4m)
- Net exceptional profit of £11.6m (charge of £40.8m);
PBT of £254.4m (£184.4m)
- Adjusted basic EPS** up 5.7% to 61.4p (58.1p);
Basic EPS of 53.5p (28.9p)
- Full year dividend increased by 2.5% to 47.04p (45.9p)
- Net debt £2,749m (£2,506m); interest costs up £8.6m to £168.0m

Severn Trent Water
- Turnover up 4.2% to £956.7m (£917.9m)
- IDOK price increase from April 2003 - contributed c. £19m
to turnover
- PBITA* up 3.8% to £337.9m (£325.5m)
- Exceptional profit from land and property sales of £19.8m;
PBIT of £356.4m (£325.4m)
- AMP3 regulatory outputs on track; £442m of capital investment
- Ranked 1st in 2002/03 for Ofwat"s overall performance assessment
for water and sewerage companies

Non-Regulated Businesses
- Contributed 55% of Group turnover and 27% of Group PBITA*
- PBITA* up 18.1% to £123.4m (£104.5m); PBIT of £86.7m (£38.6m)
- PBITA* contribution of £5.5m (£2.4m) from Systems and Property,
Engineering consultancy and Insurance


Biffa
- Turnover up 23.9% to £633.1m (£510.9m)
- PBITA* up 16.6% to £79.2m (£67.9m); PBIT of £47.0m (£51.3m)
- Hales" contribution to PBITA* of £10.4m
- Hales" integration: to date, timing is ahead of plan;
exceptional costs of £10.9m


Services
- Turnover down 1.1% to £381.2m (£385.4m)
- PBITA* up 13.2% to £38.7m (£34.2m);
PBIT of £31.5m (loss of £21.1m)
- Excluding the impact of exchange rates, Services" turnover
and PBITA* were up by around 6% and 16% respectively
- P&K contribution to PBITA* of £3.2m


* excluding exceptional items ** excluding exceptional
items and deferred tax

David Arculus, Chairman Severn Trent Plc, said:

"These Group results, and our confidence in our core businesses, have led the Board to increase the full year dividend to 47.04 p per share."

"It is now the Board"s intention that for the period up to 31 March 2005, barring unforeseen circumstances, full year dividends per share would be a minimum of 47.04p."

Robert Walker, Group Chief Executive, Severn Trent Plc, said:

"I am pleased to report that the Group has delivered a good performance in 2003/04, the last full year of my term as Group Chief Executive. I am particularly pleased with the increased contribution from the non-regulated businesses."

"The Final Business Plan for the AMP 4 price review aims to achieve the right balance between customer and investor expectations. Severn Trent Water"s aim is to deliver improvements for our customers while realising appropriate financial returns for our investors."

"Biffa produced a solid overall result, reflecting the strength of its integrated business model that combines collection, landfill, and special waste. The Hales" acquisition is bedding down well with the integration process now close to completion."

"I am also pleased with the progress of Services and the initiatives taken to develop the business."

"Although the Group expects significant additional pension charges in 2004/05, overall, our core businesses - Severn Trent Water, Biffa and Laboratories - give us a good platform for the future, with the Group well positioned to capitalise on opportunities."

Enquiries:

Robert Walker
Severn Trent Plc 020 7404 5959 (on the day)
Group Chief Executive 0121 722 4775

Alan Perelman
Severn Trent Plc 020 7404 5959 (on the day)
Group Finance Director 0121 722 4176

Peter Gavan
Severn Trent Plc 020 7404 5959 (on the day)
Director of Corporate Affairs 0121 722 4310

Julian Wais
Severn Trent Plc 020 7404 5959 (on the day)
Head of Investor Relations 0121 722 4295

Simon Holberton
Brunswick Group Ltd 020 7404 5959

Preliminary Results Presentation and Webcast

There will be a preliminary results presentation at 9.30am on Tuesday 8 June 2004. This presentation, together with the presentation slides, will be available as a simultaneous webcast on the Severn Trent web site (www.severntrent.com) and will remain on the web site for subsequent viewing.

Interview with Group Chief Executive

An interview with Robert Walker, Group Chief Executive, Severn Trent Plc, will be available from 7.00am on Tuesday 8 June 2004 on the Severn Trent web site (www.severntrent.com) and the Cantos web site (www.cantos.com).
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