South West Water investment up 21 per cent
Half-year financial results announced today by South West Water parent company, Pennon Group plc, show that South West Water invested the equivalent of 99 per cent of its profits back into improving the region's environment and drinking water.
South West Water's investment of £83.7million this year since April has made it one of the UK's leading water companies in capital investment.
Chief Executive Chris Loughlin said the company's sustained record on investment had brought visible benefits to the region. "This year for the first time 100 per cent of our beaches met EU standards; we are one of the top of the water companies nationally in controlling leakage, and the quality of our drinking water hit a new high of 99.96 per cent compliance. In addition, this is the tenth year in a row without any hosepipe bans or drought orders - despite below average winter rainfall.
"Our £1.5billion investment in clean bathing waters since 1989 is a major contribution to bringing eight million tourists to the region, boosting the economy by some £4billion. Every day, South West Water spends two thirds of a million pounds in the local economy, providing jobs, boosting tourism and helping to make keep our marine and river environment pristine.
"We are acutely aware that these successes come at a price for our customers and particularly those on low and fixed incomes. We already help many people who've got into financial difficulty, with a free debt helpline, payment plans, help for people whose income changes suddenly and special tariffs for people on benefits with large families, or certain medical conditions.
"But we would like to do more, and we will shortly be announcing a package of measures aimed at helping the worst off. We're just consulting on and finalising the details of that initiative at the moment and expect to announce it in coming weeks."
Half yearly results show that South West Water's parent company, Pennon Group plc, made profits before tax of £71.1million. The group also owns Viridor Waste, whose profits rose 29.8 per cent to £21.8million. South West Water's operating profit was £84.2 million.
Notes to editors:
Unaudited half-year results are available on www.pennon-group.co.uk