Water companies' profits surge

11 June 2006
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12 June 2006 | Paul Snell

Water company profits rose by up to 75 per cent last year, despite "challenging" conditions of low rainfall and restrictions on water use.

The figures for the 12 months ending 31 March show Mid Kent Water enjoyed a 75 per cent rise cent in pre-tax profits, from £5.18 million to £9.13 million last year. Mid Kent imposed a hosepipe ban in August 2005 because of low rainfall.

Severn Trent Water's profits before interest and tax rose by 30 per cent to a total of £400.4 million. Last week the water regulator Ofwat gave notice that it is to fine Severn Trent for failures in its customer service. The cost of the financial penalty will be determined once Ofwat have completed their investigation into the failures.

Preliminary results from Northumbrian Water Group, which runs both Northumbrian Water and Essex and Suffolk Water, revealed a 35 per cent rise in pre-tax profit, from £96.3 million to £130.3 million. AWG, parent company of Anglian Water, saw pre-tax profits nearly treble from £32.4 million to £108.8 million.

Pennon, operator of South West Water and United Utilities, also announced big profit rises. Pennon's profit before tax rose 24.6 per cent to £110.9 million. United Utilities pre-tax profit rose 21 per cent to £480.5 million.

SMjun2006

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