Dry but high in profits
Sunday 26 November 1995
For the past two weeks, the privatised utility has been ferrying water in 1,000 road tankers from Northumbria to the drought- stricken region in a frantic, round-the-clock operation.
Full-year results will be severely hit by the estimated pounds 1m a week cost of the shuttle-run, while the firm still loses more than 100 million gallons a day from leaking pipes - a third of its usage and by far the worst record of any water firm, as measured by head of population.
Pre-tax profits to end-September, due on Tuesday, are expected to leap more than 40 per cent to around pounds 95m, after pounds 5m of drought costs from June.
Stripping out pounds 25m for redundancies in 1994 still leaves underlying profits nearly10 per cent ahead. That, a similar rise in the dividend and its refusal to consider compensation will fuel claims that Yorkshire puts customers last.
"Yorkshire people know they're being ripped off on service," said Frank Dobson, Labour's environment spokes- man. "It has one of the worst records on interruption of supply, the highest proportion of leaks and a bad record on complaints. They're useless all round," he added.
Yorkshire has already been ordered to spend pounds 125m over 10 years on plugging leaks and is likely to outline investment plans this week.
The firm gained the country's first drought order in June, and with reservoirs low or dry, Yorkshire customers still face the threat of standpipes or cuts by rota in supply.
"They don't need a normal winter, they need another wet winter. Otherwise they could still have problems next summer," said analyst Robert Miller- Bakewell of NatWest Markets.
To objections from West Yorkshire fire brigade over planned supply cuts last week, Yorkshire Water said it would be able to turn the mains back on "within one or two hours" if need be.
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Hacking Trial: Rebekah Brooks, Raisa and a new twist in the saga of a horse fit for a Prime Minister
Israel-Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll now exceeds 500 – but Israel fights on
Income tax league: Revealed - the UK towns where people pay the most and least tax
Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Blogger captures footage ‘showing BUK missile launcher that shot down jet’ now back in Russia
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
iJobs Money & Business
£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£250 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Finance Manager - Accountant - Bank...
£100000 - £120000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading fi...