Thames Water leak woes hit profits


A car is submerged after a water supply pipe burst in the Hackney district of London, 3 October 2018Image copyright

Thames Water has reported a big fall in half-year profits, saying extreme weather has hindered its ability to fix leaks and overhaul its infrastructure.

The company said the Beast from the East cold snap had caused pipes to burst, while the summer heatwave had brought supply problems.

Underlying pre-tax profits fell by nearly half to £67.7m, from £129m a year earlier.

It said the weather had had an “enduring impact” on leakage problems.

Since 2017, Thames Water has been fined more than £128m for poor management of leaks.

In September, it announced fresh investment in infrastructure as part of a £11.7bn five-year plan.

The future of the water industry has recently become a hot political issue, with Labour saying it will take it back into public ownership if elected.

Water firms were sold off by the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher in 1989.


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