Telford hailed after water leak as Severn Trent reveals rising revenue
Severn Trent has hailed the people of Telford for their response to a massive water leak that cut off supplies in the town as it revealed a jump in turnover in the first half of the year.
The Shropshire water supplier saw turnover rise by £30.4 million to £850.4m in the first half of its financial year.
That 3.7 per cent rise came in the six months to the end of September as underlying pre-tax profits went up £12.1m, or 4.4 per cent, to £287.8m.
The company, providing water across the West Midlands, Staffordshire and Shropshire, said services had improved with a 48 per cent cut in flooding.
At the same time its average bills were £32 a year less than the next cheapest in England and Wales.
In September, Severn Trent was faced with a massive water leak after a pipe burst in Telford, leaving people without a water supply for 15 hours. The company has not yet revealed the cost of the leak.
As the company announced its strong half-year figures, chief customer officer Sarah Bentley said: "Having worked around the clock during that event I was so moved by the community spirit and the support we got from local producers.
"The lady that opened her kebab shop, the lady who was making cups of tea for people – the support we got was fabulous."
She added that the company is in the midst of an investment programme worth £150 million which will help to help prevent similar leaks in the future.
Part of that work will start on a tunnel at Knighton in Powys next year.
Chief executive Liv Garfield also announced plans to start selling off Severn Trent land that had become available 'through operational efficiency'. The surplus land would see 1,000 homes built by 2020.
Ms Bentley said the money would partly be returned to customers in the form of lower bills, rather than a rebate.
"We have a commitment to ensure we smooth the impact of any inflation, performance incentive or profit sharing, se we have predictable, low bills rather than a one-off in any direction," she said.
"Predictable bills is what customers tell us they want."
Severn Trent has more than eight million customers across the Midlands and Wales, including in Stafford, Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Shropshire, and delivers around two billion litres of water a day.
Severn Trent also said it had cut four million litres a day from its leakage figures and complaints about water quality were down 12 per cent.