United Utilities has said its profits rose slightly in the first half of the financial year, in line with its previous guidance.

The water services provider reported operating profits of £312.5m ($387.7m) for the six months ended 30 September, up from £308.6m in the same period a year earlier.

However, revenue dipped slightly to £853m from £857m, with the company blaming an accounting change at its Water Plus joint venture for the drop.

"Overall, we are encouraged by our progress in the early part of this regulatory period," United Utilities chief executive Steve Mogford said in a statement.

"We have a robust financial position and are confident that we can deliver our targets for both customers and shareholders.

"This has been a strong first half performance in which we made significant progress towards meeting our customer, environmental and financial targets."

United Utilities' share price opened 1.2% higher in London on the news.