Severn Trent announced a one-off, £150m special dividend for shareholders yesterday, as the water company cut leaks by 7 per cent to a record low last year.
Unveiling a 4.6 per cent fall in full-year profits for 2011 to £275m, Severn Trent still increased its normal dividend by 7.7 per cent to 70.1p and also made a 63p, one-off payment.
The company, which in January increased prices by 5.2 per cent, also said it would invest an additional £150m to improve its infrastructure over the next three years, bringing the total it plans to spend to £1.75bn.
Severn Trent, which supplies 8 million houses in a region stretching from the Bristol Channel to the Humber and from mid-Wales to the East Midlands, was not among those hit by a hosepipe ban this year. However, fears persist of a drought next year after the Environment Agency classified Severn Trent as being "high risk in case of a dry spring and summer".
Its chief executive Tony Wray said: "We have beaten our leakage target, reduced supply interruptions, continue to forecast no water usage restrictions for our region this year and we maintained the lowest average charges for our customers."Reuse content