Outlook: Poor old Mr Hawker is on a Hyder to nothing
Friday 10 December 1999
But is Graham Hawker chastened? Not a bit of it. In fact, it is water off a duck's back Extraordinarily for someone who has presided over such a heroic destruction of shareholder value, Mr Hawker remains rather pleased with himself.
Only in the narrowest of senses, has his strategy been vindicated, in that Hyder has met all its cost reduction targets. But it has been like pushing water up hill. While Mr Hawker and his chums in Cardiff have been slapping themselves on the back over the manpower reductions achieved by forcing water and electricity to mix, no-one has noticed the ship sinking under its sea of debt.
Now that they belated have spotted the leaks in the balance sheet, it is all hands to the pump. Not only is Hyder looking at a bumper rights issue to keep its head above water, but everything and anything is up for sale in a desperate bid to lighten the load. True to form, Mr Hawker looks upon this as decisive management action. Others look agog at how Hyder overstretched itself in the first place, paying pounds 821m for Swalec in 1996 and doubling its exposure to regulatory risk into the bargain.
Mr Hawker reckons no-one could reasonably have foreseen the clobbering the utility sector would take, first from the windfall tax and then a series of swingeing regulatory price reviews. Perhaps they never read the opinion polls in south Wales showing Labour ahead by a country mile and Gordon Brown preparing to pounce with his well-trailed levy.
Hyder has had to contend with Ofwat and Ofgem and the Environment Agency. There is a certain irony now in the fact that it could be the Welsh Assembly which delivers the coup de grace by imposing an even bigger environmental clean-up programme on Welsh Water than Mr Byatt proposes.
Blase beyond belief, Mr Hawker, shrugs all this off and says he detects no shareholder pressure to resign. He is, he says, fond of gardening but not ready to take it up permanently. But horticulturally speaking his strategy is six feet under which is also where the chief executive surely ought to be.
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 5 Terror threat level raised to severe as PM warns Isis risk could last for decades
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...
£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...
£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...
£200 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: KYC Analyst, Key Banking Client, Bi...