Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Water more efficient, says report

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NI Water has improved its efficiency by reducing running costs by £12m, according to its 2013 annual report.

The company was able to trim costs through a range of measures, including voluntary redundancies.

It also claimed it was now "delivering the best overall levels of service" for customers, with the quality of drinking water exceeding targets.

But it blamed heavy snowfalls in March for its failure to hit targets in respect of interruptions to supply.

'Complete overhaul'

Around 130,000 homes were without power during the spell of severe weather, as were some water pumping stations.

Out-going chief executive Trevor Haslett said: "We have undertaken a complete overhaul of procedures to respond to major incidents and have upgraded our call-answering systems and website."

The company also said it had reduced the amount of water which leaked from its network by 6.25m litres per day - about the equivalent volume of two Olympic size swimming pools.

But while revenues increased to £420m - largely funds from the public purse - its accounting profit dropped to £110m.

This was £4m less than 2012 because it paid more in tax.