Thames Water drinks in profits but warns of rising bills to come

THAMES Water said yesterday that tighter cost controls had driven a full year pre-tax profit rise of four per cent to &pound;435.1m, but warned of a challenging year to come.<br /><br />The UK&rsquo;s largest water company said that for every 100p of profit it made, it has invested 226p in a programme which included replacing London&rsquo;s worn-out Victorian water mains. But it warned that its 8.5m customers faced rise in their water bills of 17 per cent over the next five years.<br /><br />&ldquo;Decades of under-investment have kept our bills artificially low,&rdquo; said Thames Water chief executive David Owens. &ldquo;Unfortunately they must rise so we can fund vital upgrades.&rdquo;<br /><br />The group said that last year&rsquo;s wet summer dented revenues from metered demand, which are expected to deteriorate further still.