Water and waste firm sees surge in profits

The Pennon Group, owners of South West Water and waste firm Viridor, has announced a jump in year-on-year profits.

Pennon Group announced a profit, before tax, of £189M in 2009/10, with
South West Water brining in £132.5M - an increase of 8.7% on 2008/9.

However, it was Pennon's waste arm Viridor with an underlying profit before tax of £55.4M, an increase of 34.8% on 2008/9, that boosted the firms bank accounts.

South West Water also invested £143.3M in 2009/10 on customer services and maintaining its water and sewerage networks.

This means the company ploughed back the equivalent of 108% of its profits before tax - £132.5M - into the company's improvement programmes.

South West Water chief executive, Chris Loughlin, said: "Our priority in these difficult economic times is to deliver the level of service our customers rightly expect while improving efficiency.

"The good news for customers is we will be investing to improve services further and we estimate that investment will support close to 5,000 jobs in the wider economy.

"Our past investment has underpinned the regional economy and protected the environment while transforming services for many customers.

"Going forward, we will be doing all we can to safeguard the successes while rising to meet new challenges such as the effects of climate change."

Luke Walsh



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