United Utilities' 4.8% Dividend Yield

LONDON -- The shares of United Utilities (LSE: UU.L  ) gained 2.6% today as investors sought the company's 4.8% dividend yield.

The FTSE 100 member, which supplies water to 7 million people in the northwest of England, today lifted its first-half payout by 7% to 11.44 pence per share. The improvement takes the group's trailing-12-month payout to 32.74 pence per share.

Today's half-year results from United reiterated the company's policy of targeting dividend advances of Retail Prices Index (a measure of inflation) plus 2% until at least 2015. RPI for October was 3.2%

United's results also showed sales gaining 4% to 823 million pounds, underlying pre-tax profit improving 3% to 190 million pounds, and adjusted earnings rising 5% to 20.9 pence per share.

Steve Mogford, United's chief executive, said: "We have continued to deliver a better service to our customers and invest substantially in our network. Our sustained focus on operational performance across a broad front has seen us make a further improvement on Ofwat's service incentive mechanism, building on a marked improvement last year, coupled with a strong performance on Ofwat's overall KPIs assessment."

Right now, United is just one of a number of FTSE large caps that offer a dividend income well-ahead of what you can expect to receive from a standard savings account. Other dividend opportunities can be found in this exclusive free report, which reveals the favorite income stocks held by Neil Woodford, the City expert who has thrashed the FTSE 100 during the 15 years to October 2012 by favoring dividend-paying blue chips. You can download these Neil Woodford share ideas today by clicking here.

Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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