Dŵr Cymru invests £153 million in six months - up 35% on last year
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water invested £153 million in capital projects in the six months to September 2012 - £40 million more than the same period last year. The investment will further improve services for the company’s 1.4 million customers.
The half year report shows strong overall performance for the six months to September 2012 and continued improvement to customer service, built on a strong financial foundation.
Dŵr Cymru aims to provide the best possible customer service with household customers scoring their satisfaction with the service they receive at 93% in our latest research; business customer satisfaction stood at a record 88%; and the number of written complaints received fell by a quarter to under 1,900.
Glas Cymru Chairman, Bob Ayling, said: “I am pleased to report a period of further progress in achieving our objectives; to deliver the best possible outcomes for customers by supplying drinking water of the highest quality and safeguarding the environment, at least cost. We also aspire to show that our unique business model for the water industry is better for customers in much of Wales, Herefordshire and Deeside.
“As the only regulated water company in the sector that is managed solely on behalf of its customers, we aim to be one of the very best performers when it comes to day to day customer service. And in the first six months of this financial year, we are able to point to more good progress. Dŵr Cymru now ranks with the best performers in the sector. This continuous improvement is supported by an ambitious investment programme, underpinned by the strong financial position of our unique ownership model.”
Examples of key investments over the first six months of this financial year include:
- a new service reservoir at Coed Dolwyd to provide emergency water storage for over 70,000 customers in the Llandudno and Colwyn Bay area (£9 million)
- a major improvement programme (£7 million) at Heswall waste water treatment works, that will provide environmental improvements to the Wirral Peninsula including the building of a new underground storm water storage tank - the size of three Olympic swimming pools
- a £4 million project at Britton Ferry to reduce the longstanding, serious threat of sewer flooding to the community
- the building of a new water treatment works to provide 11,000 customers in and around Hay on Wye with a reliable, high quality water supply (£9 million)
- Investment in capital projects of £153 million (2011: £113 million) to improve services for our customers and to protect the environment; on track to deliver over £300 million of investment in the full year and £1 billion in the three years to 2015
- Profit before taxation (and before fair value movements on derivative financial instruments) was £25 million, down from £34 million in the same period last year, reflecting primarily the higher level of investment in the business
- Regulatory gearing continues to reduce and is now 64% (2011: 65%) compared to 93% when Dŵr Cymru was acquired by Glas Cymru in 2001
- Dŵr Cymru has the best credit ratings in the water sector and the best ratings of all UK utilities with our bonds being rated A by Standard and Poor’s and Fitch, and A3 by Moody’s
- A robust financial position, with £496 million of liquidity as at 30 September 2012
Customer service and bills
- The average household bill in Wales rose below the rate of inflation for the second year running, again lower than any other water and sewerage company in England and Wales
- The average household bill will be lower by 6% in real terms by 2015 compared to 2000 – the year before the company was acquired by Glas Cymru
- Some 48,000 of our least well off customers benefit from assistance through our range of special tariffs and Customer Assistance Fund
- 1,264 compliments received via email or letter
- Number of written complaints has fallen by a quarter to 1,869 (2011: 2,484)
- Our latest research (August) shows 93% customer satisfaction and 88% amongst business customers
- Overall compliance of drinking water in the nine months to September 2012 remained very high at 99.98% (2011: 99.96%)
- No restrictions on customer water use and leakage is over 20Ml/D lower than last year at 165.5Ml/D (2011: 188.9Ml/D)
- 100% “look up” compliance at wastewater treatment works (2011: 99.32%)
- Seven significant pollution incidents reported (2011: 4) and 218 incidents in total (2011: 204)
- The number of reportable (RIDDOR) accidents involving the staff of Dŵr Cymru and its contract partners has fallen to nine (2011: 14)
- Appointed 20 apprentices and 12 graduate trainees, six trainee engineers and 14 trainee distribution inspectors (2011: 11 apprentices and 11 graduates)
Enquiries to the Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water press office on 029 2055 6140