Utility Week

UTILITY Week 9th June 2017

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UTILITY WEEK | 9TH - 15TH JUNE 2017 | 21 This week Castle Water wins £275m schools deal Independent retailer to provide water and sewerage services to about 60 schools in England Castle Water has been awarded a £275 million contract to provide water and sewerage services to around 60 schools in England. The contract was awarded by United Learning Trust, a group of primary, secondary, all- through and independent acad- emies located across England. The trust was formed in 2002 as a subsidiary of the United Church Schools Trust. United Learning Trust also awarded a contract worth around £125 million to H2O Building Services, to provide "ancillary" goods and services to its schools. So far, there are 22 retailers licensed to operate in the English market. This includes one business customer – Greene King – which holds a self-supply licence. Hospitality firm Whitbread Group has also applied for a self-supply licence, but it has not yet been granted. Earlier this year, Castle Water was one of four compa- nies that won a framework contract to supply Progress Housing Group with water retail services. The group owns almost 11,000 residential rental properties in Eng- land and Scotland. At the time, Castle Water chief execu- tive John Reynolds told Utility Week: "Progress Housing do a mixture of different types of housing in areas and in ways that is close to what we do already in Scotland, so the experience in Scotland is very valuable here and will read across to what we can provide in England." The other companies to win business with Progress Housing Group were Anglian Water Business, Everflow and water2business. The contract was put out to tender by broker Apollo Energy. LV GAS National Grid starts buyback of shares National Grid has commenced an £835 million share buyback programme following the sale of a 61 per cent stake in National Grid Gas Distribution – now Cadent – earlier this year. The deal, which valued the company at £13.8 billion, saw National Grid paid £3.8 billion in cash and £1.8 billion through debt financing by an inter- national consortium of investors. National Grid has vowed to return £4 billion of the proceeds to shareholders, partly through the share buyback. The programme will be under- taken in at least two tranches, the first of which began on 2 June and will end on 27 December 2017 at the earliest. National Grid will purchase up to £425 million of its own shares during this ini- tial phase. Barclays Capital Secu- rities, as an independent third party, will carry out the buyback on National Grid's behalf. National Grid has retained a 39 per cent stake in Cadent but has agreed to the possible sale of a further 14 per cent on "broadly similar terms" to the original deal. WATER Portsmouth profits return to usual level Portsmouth Water has announced a reduced operating profit for the year ending 31 March 2017, from £7.6 million in 2016 to £5.6 million. Turnover was up at £40.3 million, com- pared with £39.8 million in 2016. Chairman Mike Kirk played down the drop in operating profit, saying Portsmouth Water's financial results "show a return to more typical levels of profit- ability" aer the 2016 results benefited from lower infrastruc- ture renewals expenses. WATER NI Water: £440m a year to economy Northern Ireland Water adds around £440 million per year to the local economy, according to analysis by Ulster University Business School. Over the six-year period to 2021, it is estimated that NI Water will add £2.5 billion, positioning the company as a major contributor to Northern Ireland's gross value added. The Business School estimates that for every £1 invested by NI Water, the knock-on effect in the local economy is almost double. Senior lecturer in economics Mark Bailey, who undertook the analysis, said: "In the case of NI Water investment, the ripples don't just reach its own employ- ees and suppliers. They are felt by a wide range of other busi- nesses from agri-food produc- tion, to new house construction, to tourism development." Castle Water will provide services to 60 schools Stock watch 1,200 1,150 1,100 1,050 1,000 NATIONAL GRID SHARE PRICE, FIVE DAY 9 May 16 May 23 May 30 May 6 Jun NATIONAL GRID SHARE PRICE, ONE MONTH National Grid's shares shed more than 3 per cent of their value last week following the revelation that investment firm Blackrock had reduced its stake in the group by almost half to just 3.66 per cent. The share price dropped from 1,093p to 1,056p over the course of Wednesday aernoon and Thursday morning, and at the time of publication had fallen further still to 1,026p. 1,100 1,080 1,060 1,040 1,020 31 May 2 Jun 5 Jun 6 Jun Finance & Investment 1 Jun

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