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Thames Water announces interim results

Thames Water Utilities Limited announces consolidated interim results

Tuesday 1st December 2020 07:27

Front cover of Interim Report 2020-21

Key highlights:

  • Robust response to the impact of Covid-19, ensuring resilient supplies and extra support for customers and communities.
  • Introduction of new flexible payment plan in April
  • Distributed £1.7 million in grants through customer assistance fund to help customers with water bill debt 
  • Walthamstow Wetlands kept open and safe for visitors during lockdown. Over 425,000 visits to the urban escape between April and October, a 120% increase on previous year
  • Working with the Government to create an early warning system to detect local coronavirus outbreaks before they spread after scientists established fragments of the virus’ genetic material could be identified in human waste.
  • Retained five star rating with best Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark for Infrastructure (GRESB) survey score based on ‘ESG’ pillars – environment, social and governance.
  • 758 new starters recruited during the first half of the year.
  • Sarah Bentley started as company’s new – and first female – CEO on September 1, 2020. 

Sarah Bentley, Thames Water CEO, said: “I am humbled by the dedication of colleagues across the sector to keep our essential service running throughout the pandemic. We’ve continued to be innovative in our thinking and supportive of our customers in financially vulnerable circumstances.

“At Thames, we have a wide-ranging change programme to improve our performance and I’m pleased that despite difficult circumstances we have made progress in the first half of the year.

“Making sure our customers get the best possible service and experience of us every time really matters. We have a substantial journey ahead to achieve this ambition and we won’t rest until we’ve made significant improvements. I’m passionate that we deliver on these expectations and are a force for good in society.” 

To read the full report visit https://www.thameswater.co.uk/about-us/investors/our-results

Customer engagement

  • Supporting over 33,000 extra customers through WaterHelp social tariff, with more than 180,000 customers now receiving 50% off their water bills 
  • More than 83,000 customers signed up to priority services register to help people in vulnerable circumstances during emergencies – a 10% increase since September 2019
  • Already donated £730,000 to our independent trust fund this year, which helps support customers with debt advice
  • Distributed £1.7 million in grants through our customer assistance fund to help our customers with water bill debt
  • Recruited more than 180 new customer service agents between April and October 2020 to increase customer support 

Operational performance

  • Fixing an average of 1,141 leaks a week despite the impact of Covid-19 on ability to complete repairs at customers’ properties and in communities
  • Cleaned over 600km of sewers and cleared more than 35,000 blockages to keep pipes flowing and prevent sewer flooding and pollutions
  • None of company’s 6,700 employees needed to take a day off for a work-related injury or illness in September 2020 – a record – and throughout October

Giving back to communities

  • Maintained 3-star Environmental Performance Assessment rating, delivering on a range of performance metrics
  • Net operational emissions reduced by 11% from same period last year, helping move closer towards goal of net zero carbon emissions from operations by 2030, and beyond by 2040
  • Started new maintenance programmes to enhance biodiversity at over 250 operational sites

Financial overview

  • £498.8 million investment in infrastructure to improve service
  • No dividends – showing continued priority to put customers first during this difficult time
  • £1.03 billion total revenue 
  • £246.5 million total loss before tax, down to lower water use from business customers forced to close during lockdown and ‘non-cash’ loss on financial instruments driven by external market factors
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