Northumbrian Water revenue falls £142m to £758m

Northumbrian Water Limited (NWL) has reported it made a profit of £70.1 million as its revenue fell by £142 million to £758.4 million in the year ended March 31, 2021, “principally as a result of a reduction in allowed revenue from the PR19 price review.”

Northumbrian Water said in its results released on the London Stock Exchange: “This was exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which had a particular impact on non-household revenue with reduced activity resulting in revenue being £25.6m lower than expectations.

“In contrast, household revenue was £19.5m higher than expected as a result of the change in working patterns during the year, with more of our customers working from home.”

Northumbrian Water is owned by Hong Kong conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings Limited.

Northumbrian Water said: “Operating costs increased by £21.8m to £563.4m, which was largely due to a step change in abstraction charges following a consultation by the Environment Agency …

“Net finance charges were relatively stable at £111m, a fall of £1.4m.

“The current tax charge fell by £26.9m due to the reduction in pre-tax profit as a result of the reduced revenues.

“Profit for the year was £70.1m.

“No dividends were paid during the year ended 31 March 2021.

“Capital investment was £264.5m in the year, including around £174m invested in maintaining the health of our asset base to ensure the continued provision of sustainable water and wastewater services in the areas we serve.

“We commenced our AMP7 enhancement programme which will deliver environmental improvements through the Water Industry Environmental Programme, improved resilience of our water and wastewater assets, as well as cyber resilience, and smart metering.

“No new debt was issued during the year.

“Our committed bank facility of £450m is for the purpose of maintaining general liquidity and was undrawn at 31 March 2021. 

“The maturity date of the facility was extended to December 2025 during the year.

“Cash interest cover and gearing are measured per the financial covenant for the committed facility and remain well within target.

“The company retains investment grade credit ratings of Baa1 (stable outlook) from Moody’s and BBB+ (negative outlook) from Standard & Poor’s.”

Northumbrian Water CEO Heidi Mottram said: “Our vision is to be the national leader in the provision of sustainable water and wastewater services.

“I am delighted that we have made further progress towards this vision during 2020/21, under incredibly challenging circumstances, and remain one of the leaders in our industry.

“This has been a unique year with much of it spent in lockdown and under COVID-19 restrictions.

“We provide vital services, but the importance of these has never been more apparent than during the pandemic.

“I am extremely proud of the way our teams have responded to the challenge and kept our essential services running for our customers and the communities we serve.

“This has been a fantastic effort and shown the resilience of both our people and our operations.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.