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Thames Water takes profit hit as it beats leakage targets

Thames Water today revealed a 22% fall in its profit before tax for the financial year ending March 31 2007 and confirmed it had exceeded its leakage reduction targets set by industry regulator Ofwat.
The water firm, Britain's second most profitable company last year, also confirmed that from next year it will invest £900M every year to improve its ageing pipe network.This investment is up from the £779.4M invested last year, which helped Thames Water to install 323km of new water mains, 59km ahead of Ofwat's target.Thames Water chief executive David Owens said: 'The financial results reflect the combined challenges of the drought and increased efforts to address leakage.'Meeting our leakage target is an important milestone, reflecting in part the acceleration of our Victorian mains replacement programme.'Thames was forced by Ofwat last year to spend an extra £150M improving its Victorian mains network to cut leakage.An Ofwat spokesman said: 'This result, following on from Ofwat's enforcement action against Thames Water last year, is good news for water consumers. It contributes to reducing the risk of future water supply problems in the capital and shows that Ofwat's consumer-focused approach is working.'

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