Consolidated Water posts quarterly results

Cayman’s drier than normal weather in the first three months of this year is attributed with a 7 per cent increase in the volume of water sold by Consolidated Water, according to the utility company’s latest quarterly report.

The company announced an 11 per cent increase in its overall revenue for the first quarter of this year, in its quarterly results released on 11 May.

For the three months ended March 31, 2009, revenues increased to approximately $15.9 million, compared with revenues of approximately $14.3 million in the first quarter of 2008.

Dry weather in Cayman in January, February and March this year led to a 12 per cent increase in retail water sales which rose to approximately $6.5 million, compared to the same period last year. This reflects a 7 per cent increase in the volume of water sold and annual price increases resulting from inflation adjustments.

Net income attributable to common shareholders increased 52 per cent to $2,550,158, or $0.18 per diluted share, in the three months ended March 31, 2009, compared with net income of $1,673,867, or $0.12 per diluted share, in the quarter ended March 31, 2008.

“Our 52 per cent increase in net income attributable to common shareholders in the first quarter of 2009 was driven primarily by improvements in gross profit margins,” said Rick McTaggart, chief executive officer of Consolidated Water Co. Ltd.

‘In particular, gross margins in our bulk water segment expanded significantly, from 15 per cent of revenues in last year’s first quarter to 22 per cent in the most recent quarter, primarily due to efficiency improvements in our Bahamas operations. These improvements were the result of capital projects that we completed at the Windsor plant last October.’

However, the company’s bulk water revenues declined 7 per cent to approximately $6.4 million in the most recent quarter, compared with approximately $6.9 million in January to March 2008, due to a 2 per cent decline in the volume of water sold and a reduction in energy costs passed through to customers.

Services revenues increased 87 per cent to approximately $2.9 million in the first quarter of 2009, compared with approximately $1.6 million in the first quarter of 2008, due to higher relative project construction expenditures.

Consolidated gross profit increased 32 per cent to approximately $6.0 million, while gross profit on retail revenues approximated $4.0 million (61 per cent of revenues) in the quarter ended March 31, 2009.

Gross profit on bulk revenues increased to approximately $1.4 million (22 per cent of revenues), compared with approximately $1.0 million (15 per cent of revenues) in the year-earlier period. Gross profit on services revenues approximated $0.6 million in the first quarter of 2009 and $0.2 million in the first quarter of 2008.

General and administrative expenses approximated $2.5 million in both of the first quarters of 2009 and 2008.

The company’s equity in the loss of its Ocean Conversion (BVI) affiliate in the British Virgin Islands totaled $608,999 in the most recent quarter, versus $497,497 in the first quarter of 2008.

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