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Hyder goes into the red

Hyder, the Welsh electricity, water and gas supplier, yesterday showed the financial pain of Labour's windfall tax. A pounds 280m tax hit took the company pounds 190m into the red in the six months to September. The result compared with a profit of pounds 90m last year.

Group profits before the tax hit rose from pounds 100.7m to pounds 105.7m. Core utilities performed strongly, said Paul Twamley, Hyder's finance director. Particularly successful was the move into gas supply.

Hyder supplies 270,000 people with gas and is adding 2,500 gas customers a month. The company, formed by the merger of Welsh Water and Swalec, the Welsh electricity company, started supplying gas four months ago.