Castle Water, the UK's leading independent business water supplier, revealed plans yesterday for significant growth and investment.
Speaking exclusively with The Courier, Castle Water's CEO, John Reynolds, said 2021 has been a busy year for the company.
"We’ve had an increase in the amount of work we had to do.
“Because our customers were moving in and out of their premises, due to the lockdowns, that meant we had to produce twice the amount of invoices and reports than we normally would do.
“It’s been intense and hardworking, but not problematic.”
Millions saved for UK business customers
Despite significant initial opposition, Castle Water managed in April 2020 to reach an agreement that meant it was able to stop charging many of its customers for the lockdown, resulting in savings of approximately £6 million for its UK business water customers.
Mr Reynolds says: “We found a way to reduce customers’ fixed charges at the start of the lockdown, which made life easier for them.
“It resulted in a lot of work for us, but it means that we were able to save customers about £6m total in charges, which is significant.
“A lot of customers have said we’re the only utility supplier that’s actually been helping them.
“We take a long-term view of customer relationships and wanted to do as much as possible to be helpful and it helps us if it helps our customers.”
Significant growth and investment
This year Castle Water released major developments on its online self-service portal, MyAccount, making it even easier for customers to manage their accounts online.
Mr Reynolds says: “We’ve got some significant growth plans and significant investment plans.
“A major part of that is around our further integration of automated self-service activity for customers.
“We’ve been continuously hiring more staff since we started the company and I can’t see that stopping.
“We’re going to keep growing.”
Castle Water remains in a very strong position.
Despite a drop in revenue, the company has seen a rise in profit before tax to £3.9m, up from a loss of £14.4m in 2020.
Mr Reynolds says the results are due to the hard work of Castle Water staff.
“It’s been intense hard work for everybody, but it’s been commercially successful.
“Most water suppliers lose money, but we’ve made a modest profit over the past year.
“We’re in a very strong position and I think we stand out in a sector where a lot of companies have performed very badly.
“That’s a tribute to all the staff at Castle Water.”