South East Water haemorrhages £18.1million and is worst for supply interruptions

South East Water has reported pre-tax losses of £18.1million for the six months to the end of September after supply interruptions over the summer.

Costs for the firm surge over the half-year period as it paid out £3million because of supply issues over the summer. This included £1.5million in compensation and £700,000 for providing bottled water to households and customers.

South East Water imposed a hosepipe ban earlier this year, blaming more people working from home for ramping up demand and “testing” its infrastructure.

Ofwat launched a probe into the firm in November, saying that “too many customers have been failed too often” by the supplier.

South East Water is currently the worst performer for water supply interruptions in England and Wales, according to Ofwat.

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Figures on the South East Water website show demand for water in the monthy of July peaked on July 17, with customers needing 675 million litres of water.

Information on the group website about the issues over the summer states: “Pumping water to customers on higher ground can be particularly challenging, especially when demand is very high.

“That’s because the pumps need a minimum amount of water in the storage system to work effectively. It can be difficult to keep the levels high enough when water is going out very quickly.

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“We know it’s extremely frustrating to be without tap water whatever the weather – and more so when it’s hot and we need to keep hydrated and cool.

“That’s why were continually making improvements to our facilities and pipes, and working to reduce leaks across our network.”

The supplier was hit with £12.7million in losses a year before the most recent reported figures for the company performance.

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Another supplier struggling to keep its head above water is Thames Water, which suffered a fall in pre-tax profits to £246.4million in the six months to September 30.

Revenues increased 12 percent to £1.3billion but the company forked out a record £1billion on improvements to its network.

Auditors of Thames Water’s parent company previously warned it could run out of money by next April if shareholders do not pump in more cash.

For the latest personal finance news, follow us on Twitter at @ExpressMoney_.

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