Northern Ireland Water has announced a small drop in profits for its financial year, but saw an overall rise in income and operating profits.
NI Water said its net profit after tax for the year to March 31 was £35.5m — down from £41m a year ago — due to an increase in net interest and other finance charges. However, income increased to £331.6m from £297.7m and operating profits rose to £69.4m from £63.9m.
Chairman and acting chief executive Chris Mellor said that significant progress delivering efficiencies in the business had enabled it to deliver an improved operational performance.
“Based on these results, the company has paid a full dividend of £35m in the second quarter of 2009-10 to the Department of Regional Development (DRD) which, in a year when we experienced significant cost pressures on energy and witnessed a reduction in billed income, represents excellent value for the shareholder and ultimately the taxpayer.
“Through investment, our business has improved both its operational and environmental performances.
“NI Water continued its capital investment programme with £281m invested in improving the network and treatment facilities.”
He added: “In addition, the year saw the commencement of over £200m in value of new water and waste-water treatment works through NI Water’s Public |Private Partnership
“We will continue to invest in our services, improving our systems and processes where required.
“But most importantly, our customers remain the centre of our focus, now and in the future.’’
NI Water’s turnover included £267.5m in subsidies from DRD to cover water charges.
Mr Mellor also acknowledged that, while there had been significant progress, a number of challenges remained ahead.