Jersey Water today published its 2008 annual report and accounts and 2008 water quality report, at the same time announcing Kevin Keen as successor to retiring Chairman, David Norman.The Company is reporting pre tax profits of just over £4.0 million, up 14%.on 2007.
The 2008 Water Quality report shows that the water supplied by the Company remained at a very high quality throughout the year with over 99.97% of samples taken meeting or exceeding UK water quality standards.
Although tariff increases in 2008 were kept below inflation at 3.5%, turnover for the year actually increased by 4%, due to additional customers connecting to the network in 2007 and 2008. Operating costs were 6% higher than in 2007 but remained in line with budget. Profits on the sale of property of £493,000 and a reduction of 19% in net interest costs both contributed to the increase in profit before tax.
The Company continued with its programme of improving and renewing the mains water network and treatment infrastructure in 2008, investing £3 million in capital works. A total of 2.8km of existing treated water mains were renewed and the distribution network was extended by 4.6km, allowing 508 additional customer connections to the network. Other projects in the year included the replacement of the desalination plant control system and the refurbishment of the Westmount Road treated water storage tanks.
The Board is recommending a final net dividend of 194 pence per Ordinary and A Ordinary share which, together with the interim net dividend of 96 pence, makes a total equity dividend of 290 pence, an increase of 15% on 2007.
On 1 January 2009, the Company implemented a policy of requiring that, where there was a change of account holder, a water meter be fitted and the property charged for water based on the volume of water consumed. The number of meters installed in 2009 to date has been lower than expected due to the downturn in the housing market, however, the Company still expects to install approximately 1,000 additional meters by the end of 2009 as a result of the new policy.
Jersey Water’s Chairman, Mr David Norman, commented “We feel that these are a good set of figures for 2008, particularly having kept our tariff increase below inflation. These results have also enabled us to ensure that the tariff increase of 2.5% for 2009 is once again well below the relevant inflation figure. Our capital works programme was on track and we renewed the longest section of mains achieved so far in one year. The disposal of surplus fixed assets and the overall positive effect in 2008 of reducing interest rates have enabled us to recommend an increased dividend for shareholders.
Having served nearly 15 years on the Board, 13 of them as Chairman, I will be retiring at the AGM in May. I have enjoyed my time at Jersey Water, so it is with mixed feelings that I am leaving a Company that, in my view, is a tremendous asset to the Island, focusing, as it does, on the provision of high quality treated mains water. It has an infrastructure in extremely good condition, with detailed plans for the continued maintenance and enhancement of its processing and distribution capability for the future. Water supplied by the Company is of excellent quality and the Company has a professional and well trained workforce eager to meet the needs of customers. I am delighted Kevin Keen has agreed to take over from me as Chairman and I am confident that the Company will continue to prosper under his stewardship.”
|•||Jersey Water is the trading name of The Jersey New Waterworks Company Limited.|
|•||Of the 483,000 equity shares of Jersey Water in issue, 73.9% are owned by the States of Jersey. The balance of shares are owned by Companies and individuals (mainly Jersey residents).|
|•||Jersey Water is not listed on any stock exchange and therefore has no official share price.|
|•||A copy of the Company’s 2008 Annual Report is available from the Financial Statements section of the website|
|•||A copy of the Company’s 2008 Water Quality Report is available from the Water Quality section of the website|
For further information, please contact:
Managing Director & Engineer