Thames Water bosses have warned that turning around the embattled utility firm will “take time” and it would be impossible “to do everything that our customers and stakeholders wish to see at a pace and for a price that everyone would like.”
The company issued this statement alongside its half-year results, which showed a 54 per cent decline in profit before tax in the six months to the end of September.
Thames Water, which supplies roughly 25 per cent of England’s water, including London, has been under pressure recently due to its high debt levels, poor customer service record and lack of investment.
The company reported underlying revenue growth of 11 per cent to £1.2bn for the period, mainly thanks to inflation-linked tariff increases.
However, total debt rose £1bn from this time last year to £14.7bn.
Interim chief executives Cathryn Ross and Alastair Cochran said: “Turning around Thames will take time. We simply cannot do everything that our customers and stakeholders wish to see at a pace and for a price that everyone would like.”
The company has faced criticism this week after it emerged the group had received £500m in funding from its shareholders by way of a convertible loan, rather than equity as had been declared at the time.
It has also emerged the company is being investigated by Ofwat for paying a £37.5m dividend to shareholders. Sky News has reported the regulator served Thames Water with a notice at the end of last week, warning it was planning to investigate the company due to failure to meet its performance and environmental obligations. It is the first time the regulator has used these powers, and it could see Thames fined up to 10% of turnover.
City A.M. has reached out to Thames Water for comment.