THE water company whose customers have been hit by the Cumbria floods today said it was battling to bring impacted communities back to normal.
United Utilities has had hundreds of engineers working in the area to maintain power and water supplies since the floods hit last week.
The firm had restored power to 650 properties as of Tuesday evening - mainly in worst-hit Cockermouth - although engineers are still carrying out house-to-house checks on those homes affected by flood water.
Chief executive Philip Green said: "This remains a very difficult time for our customers and we will continue to work hard in the affected communities in the aftermath of the floods."
Around 5,000 of its customers were affected by the extreme weather.
Warrington-based United is the UK’s largest listed water company, providing supplies to seven million people across north-west England.
At the operating level, the group said it had produced a "sound set of results" in a challenging economic climate.
United’s underlying profits edged 1% higher to £369.9 million in the six months to September 30 - broadly in line with City hopes - and expects to carry through the performance to the full-year.
Price rises of 6% brought in by the company in April were largely offset by lower demand for water supplies due to the recession and the impact of rising bad debts.
The proportion of bad debts as a share of its revenues rose slightly to 3.6% compared with 3.4% in the year to March, while the company also faced a 10% hike in power costs - increasing its energy bill by £4 million.
United - like the rest of the water industry - is eagerly awaiting the final decision on prices for the 2010-15 period due from water regulator Ofwat tomorrow.
The company put in for price increases, but has been asked by the regulator to cut household bills by 5% in real terms over the five-year period.