Consolidated Water posts record earnings

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. announced record earnings for the 2007 year Tuesday, with total revenues up 29 per cent to US$49.1 million from $38.2 million in 2006.

The company said the result came on the back of an eight per cent jump in retail water sales, a 21 per cent increase in bulk water revenues and a 292 per cent jump in service revenues.

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. builds and runs desalination plants and water distribution systems in places with little or no natural water supplies.

‘We are very pleased to report another year of growth in revenues and net income during 2007,’ said Chief Executive Officer Rick McTaggart. ‘All three of our business segments generated record revenues and gross profits for the year.’

The company’s reported net income rose 51 per cent to $11.4 million, or $0.79 per diluted share, during the year ending 31 December, compared with net income of $7.5 million or $0.59 per diluted share over the same period in 2006.

Mr. McTaggart said the increase in retail water sales was largely because of an increased demand for water in the Cayman Islands in early 2007, as well as modestly higher prices.

Bulk water sales were up primarily because of a full year of operations at the company’s Blue Hills plant in Nassau, Bahamas, in 2007, compared with less than six months’ contribution from that plant in 2006, he said.

The huge jump in services revenues comes from the construction of a new desalination plant for the Cayman Islands Water Authority, in North Side, as well as the construction of another plant in Bermuda.

While Mr. TcTaggart believes consolidated water is well positioned for further growth in 2008, the company’s optimism is tempered by forecasts of a recession in the US, he said.

‘While a US recession would certainly impact tourism in some of our markets, the Caribbean region attracts tourists from many other parts of the world, and a substantial portion of the water produced by our plants is consumed by businesses and full-time residents,’ he said.

Consolidated Water Company operates production and / or distribution facilities in the Cayman Islands, Belize, the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas and is constructing a seawater desalination plant in Bermuda.

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