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  • Top performance and industry leading customer service

    A year of top customer service performance and environmental improvements are among the highlights in Wessex Water’s end of year results published today.

    Results for 2016-17 show the company met or exceeded most of its targets for the year, including those that were of most importance to customers, including minimising internal sewer flooding.

    For the sixth year running, Wessex Water has been rated by customers as the best water and sewerage company in the country. And it has been recognised outside of the water sector as well after it became one of only 10 companies in the UK to achieve the Institute of Customer Service's ServiceMark with distinction - the highest level of accreditation.

    The company reported on how it was continuing to make progress on its affordability work, with the number of low income customers receiving support with their bills or debt increasing by 28%, and it had introduced a new discount for customers receiving Pension Credit.

    Managing director Andy Pymer said: "We are committed to providing the best levels of customer service, making it easy for customers to get in touch, while ensuring customers get value for money and services tailored accordingly to suit their needs.

    "As customer aspirations continue to rise, we've made great progress in providing choice, being flexible in the way customers can communicate with us and ultimately encouraging staff to go the extra mile whenever they can to exceed expectations. Inviting customers to let us know if we have done well or need to improve is important to become the best of the best."

    Committed to the environment

    During 2016-17 Wessex Water staff worked tirelessly during the night and day to find leaks and also help customers to save water. The company was one of only two water firms to commit to fixing as many reported leaks as possible within a single day - and this year it raised the bar to 70%.

    It met its leakage target set by regulator Ofwat, fixing more than 10,000 leaks and a further 4,000 leaks on customer private supply pipes for free. Many kilometres of ageing water mains were replaced to minimise risk of future bursts and customers having supply interrupted.

    Customers will be reassured by Wessex Water's continued focus on resilience and how it has prepared for future water resource challenges. By joining up its resources in a water supply grid, the company has avoided the need to develop new water resources to meet demand in the next 25 years so less water is taken from the environment. The grid also means that more customers have the added resilience of an alternative water supply should they need it.

    There's been support for customers to save water through a project during the year that saw water efficient water devices fitted and faulty plumbing fixed in more than 5,000 homes.

    Mr Pymer said: "Helping customers save water and save money is the right thing to do and something that customers are keen we continue to prioritise. This maintains the resilience of our services and helps keep bills affordable."

    New approaches

    During 2016-17 Wessex Water was successful in finding new ways to deliver the best levels of service and environmental performance. It pioneered two new approaches, EnTrade and catchment permitting, both helping it to deliver environmental improvements at the lowest possible cost to customers.

    Mr Pymer added: "Finding better ways to deliver often involves working in partnership with others such as farmers, our customers and our regulators. I'm very proud that with our great people and by forming strong partnerships with others we have once again achieved both industry leading customer service and environmental performance."

    Wessex Water's Young People's Panel brought the views of young adults into its decision making as it plans future operations. It is an innovative way of engaging young people, whereby the company gained insights and they gain real-life experience of a business, which also helps them develop their future careers. Meanwhile, Wessex Water's apprenticeship strategy has proved successful for both the company and the local community, offering secure employment opportunities across the region.

    Financial results for 2016-17 show that turnover increased from £521m to £525m, and that profit before tax decreased from £160m to £152m.

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