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Thames Water Utilities Limited results for the full year ended 31 March 2021

Tuesday 6th July 2021 06:00

Thames Water annual results 2021

Results headlines:

Robust response to the impact of Covid-19

  • Ensuring resilient supplies and extra support for customers and communities

Mixed performance in key operational metrics, with clear areas for improvement

  • Met 26 of 49 performance commitments, resulting in net penalty of around £50 million; supply interruptions, sewer flooding, blockages, mains bursts and C-MeX below target
  • Pollutions reduced by 10 per cent during 2020, with fresh approach to protecting rivers and the environment
  • Achieved leakage reduction target for second year in a row

Launched Thames Water’s performance turnaround plan

  • New Executive leadership team with ‘frontline first’ focus on improving service to customers and reducing complaints

Sarah Bentley, Thames Water CEO, said: “I’m incredibly proud of how our key workers stepped up to keep our essential service running during a year like no other in living memory. As the pandemic hit our region, our priorities became clear – to focus on keeping water flowing and supporting our customers as much as possible.

“Despite these brilliant efforts, our broader business performance against some of our key commitments has been unacceptable and we are behind expectations causing an increase in customer complaints. We’re absolutely determined to learn from our mistakes and to improve.

“I was brought in during the year to turn Thames Water around. To do this properly and in the right way for our customers, communities and the environment is going to be a massive undertaking and there are no quick fixes. Our priority is to transform critical areas of the business and we’re investing in customer service and operations so we can make real progress. We’re in this for the long-term and are absolutely determined to put things right so that we deliver for customers and improve our environment now and for future generations.” 

Read our full Annual Report and Sustainability Report, as well as our Annual Performance Report.

‘Force for good’

  • Helped more than 210,000 customers with cheaper bills through social tariffs; increased number of customers supported through our Priority Services Register to 3.5% of homes
  • Published roadmap to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030, having reduced emissions by 68% since 1990 and with the aim to be carbon negative by 2040
  • Accredited by the Living Wage Foundation that sets fair minimum hourly rates above the National Minimum Wage
  • Recruited 1,200 people across a wide range of disciplines, from customer service to engineering and digital
  • Named by Business in the Community as a top 50 employer for women, first cohort of ‘Kickstarters’ joined in April 2021 as part of the Government’s Kickstart scheme, and signed up to the 10,000 Black Interns programme

Company performance

  • Key focus of performance turnaround plan to reduce customer complaints as written complaints increase to 39,530 (Mar 20: 33,728)
  • Reduced category 1-3 pollution incidents by 10 per cent to 292 and cleared 76,223 blockages (target 72,500). Treatment works compliance at 99.74%, against target of 100% compliance
  • Leakage reduced to 635.6 Ml/d (three-year rolling average - Mar 20: 671.8Ml/d) to achieve target for second year in a row
  • New measure for water quality* – achieved 2.42 on water quality compliance risk index, behind target
  • Installed 90,000 smart meters to help reduce water consumption and find leaks. More than 500,000 installed in total

Financial overview

  • £198.5 million total loss after tax (Mar 20: £244.6 million profit) driven primarily by a non-cash loss on financial instruments. Total revenue £2.1 billion (Mar 20: £2.2 billion)
  • Capital investment of £1.1 billion in network and other assets (Mar 20: £1.2 billion), with around £20 billion invested over the last 20 years
  • £32.9 million paid to immediate parent company to service group interest obligations and working capital requirements (Mar 20: £56.5 million); no distributions to external shareholders for fourth year in a row
  • Paid over £229 million in business rates, national insurance contributions, PAYE and other taxes (Mar 20: £196 million)