YORKSHIRE Water has pledged to invest more money to improve its services after posting a healthy rise in annual profits.
The company increased operating profits by 8.1% to £349.2m and lifted turnover by 6% to £795.5m. during a year which saw the business change ownership and the Yorkshire region face its worst storms and flooding for 150 years.
Yorkshire Water said it had met “stretching” efficiency targets despite “significant” operating costs and was now ranked as one of the UK’s most efficient water companies.
Leakage targets had been met for the 10th year in a row while the firm had the lowest complaint levels of any UK water and sewerage company. Major pollution incidents had been reduced from 17 in 2006-2007 to three in 2007-2008.
The company said it had invested £378m on improvements during the year. It now plans to pump a further £33m into schemes to benefit customers.
Managing director Kevin Whiteman said: “In the wake of last summer’s floods, this has been a challenging year for many of our customers and our company.”
Watchdog organisation the Consumer Council for Water welcomed the company’s decision to invest part of its profits in projects to improve service.
Andrea Cook, who chairs the council’s northern region, said: “ We are pleased that Yorkshire Water is continuing its policy of returning value to consumers by pledging extra investment.
“The extra investment has been allocated to deliver additional sewer flooding relief schemes and improvements to pipes and treatment works above and beyond what is required by the water regulator, Ofwat”.
Yorkshire Water changed ownership in February with the £3bn takeover of parent group Kelda by business consortium Saltaire Water, which includes financial institutions Citigroup and HSBC.
Yorkshire Water operates more than 700 water and sewerage works, and 120 reservoirs. The company is also responsible for 40,000 miles of water and sewerage mains – enough pipework to circumnavigate the globe.