Welsh Water posts £77m in profits
Welsh Water has reported an annual profit of £77 million, less than a month after announcing it is cutting 360 jobs over the next five years.
The water supplier said it had a "strong financial and operational performance" in 2014/15 as it pledged to embark on a new £1.7 billion investment programme.
A spokesman said: "The company has reported an underlying profit of £77 million which, as it has no shareholders, will all be reinvested in the business for the future benefit of customers and the environment."
Welsh Water, or Dwr Cymru, announced last month it was planning cuts of £56 million after regulator Ofwat insisted on efficiency improvements of 20%.
At the time the company, which employs around 3,000 people in Wales and Hereford, said the aim was to achieve the reduction in staff through selective voluntary redundancy, retirements and not filling vacancies.
Following the annual results, a Welsh Water spokesman said: "The company's performance over the year, combined with its move to embrace innovative solutions, places it in a strong position to meet the challenging efficiency targets set by the regulator Ofwat for 2015-20.
"During this time the company is to achieve efficiencies of around 20% to ensure it delivers record investment levels of £1.7 billion while maintaining below-inflation price increases every year up to 2020."
Chief executive Chris Jones said: "While delivering our record investment programme, we are aware of the difficulties some of our customers genuinely face in paying their bills. That is why we have launched a new social tariff which will help up to 100,000 of our most disadvantaged customers."
Welsh Water supplies three million people across most of Wales, Herefordshire and Deeside.
In its annual report, the firm reported 112 pollution incidents, including four serious, over the last year, compared with 124 in the previous 12 months. There were also 43 internal sewer flooding incidents.
A record 34 Blue Flags were awarded to bathing waters in Wales, with Llyn Padarn, near Llanberis in Gwynedd, becoming the country's first designated freshwater bathing lake, the company said.