- Northumbrian Water reports profits that are 10% lower at £152.7m ( 2008 £170.3m) for the year to 31 March 2009 mainly because of higher operational costs after having to endure energy costs that were 50% higher than the previous year.

Revenue was up 3.5% to £694.1m from £670.4m and reflected the uplift in tarrifs.

The Company is paying a final dividend of 8.50p (2008: 8.07 p) per share, to be paid on 11 September 2009, giving a full year ordinary dividend of 12.79p (2008: 12.07 pence) per share, an increase of 6%.

Cash and short term cash deposits available to meet the requirements of the business through to 2011 amounted to £252.9m at 31 March 2009.

Management say that the key risk for the business is the outcome of the PR09 (periodic review of prices), the process by which Ofwat sets limits on the prices which NWL can charge customers for the five years from 1 April 2010. Ofwat will publish its Draft Determination in July 2009 and will consider representations before issuing its Final Determination in November 2009.

The current economic climate is having an impact on revenues, particularly those from industrial and commercial customers and those associated with the housing market. Nevertheless, the Group believes it is in a strong position to withstand the current economic recession having secured the resources necessary to fund both our operations and significant capital programme through to 2011.

Managing Director John Cuthbert comments: "The Group has produced good financial and operating results against a difficult economic background.

"Overall, demand for water and sewerage services is down by 1%. Energy prices continue to be volatile and, despite managed reductions in demand, have increased operating costs in the year."

Story provided by Business Financial Newswire