(Bloomberg) -- Anglian Water Group Ltd. scrapped a dividend for most of its investors weeks after Britain’s regulator clamped down on payments to shareholders and the company was fined for allowing raw sewage to flow into the sea.
Anglian said Thursday that it will pay its parent company a dividend of nearly £80 million ($99 million) for the year to the end of March. However, the business’s ultimate shareholders will not receive a dividend after the company attracted criticism for last year’s payout.
The payment to Anglian’s parent company was cut by £26 million due to under-performance, with Anglian reporting that it faced penalties of £22 million during the period.
The Environment Agency fined Anglian £2.65 million in April, the biggest penalty imposed on a water company for an environmental offense since Southern Water was fined £90 million in July 2021.
In March, regulator Ofwat revealed new powers to stop dividend payments if water companies fail to protect the environment or do not have an acceptable level of financial resilience.
Public anger toward England’s privatized water companies has grown due to frequent sewage overflows into the country’s rivers and the surrounding sea. Last summer’s restrictions on water use also frustrated households as Britain’s system still suffers from widespread leaks.
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Anglian’s revenues jumped 7% to nearly £1.5 billion, it said Thursday. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization edged up to £803 million, according to the preliminary results.
“We still have a lot more to do,” said Peter Simpson, Anglian’s chief executive officer. “We didn’t achieve all of our outcome delivery incentive targets last year, largely as a result of extreme weather events.”
In recent weeks, three other water companies — Severn Trent, South West, and United Utilities — announced more than £500 million in dividends.
Anglian Water’s ultimate owners include the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Last year, Anglian Water was the first UK water company to turn to public bonds following a summer in which the sector came under intense political scrutiny for chronic leaks during a long heat wave and drought.
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