Anglian Water to pay £92m dividend to owners despite rising bills and backlash over pollution
Anglian Water is paying a £92million dividend to its owners despite rising bills and a backlash over pollution.
The utilities titan, which is owned by a consortium of overseas investors, said it was ‘repaying the faith’ which its shareholders had placed in it.
But the bumper payout comes at a time when Anglian has raised customer bills by £22 a year. It has also been slapped with three fines over water pollution so far in 2022.
Payouts: Anglian Water, which is owned by a consortium of overseas investors, is paying a £92m dividend to its owners despite rising bills and a backlash over pollution
One fine followed a disaster in 2016 that saw untreated sewage kill more than 5,000 fish in Essex’s River Wid. Anglian was forced to pay out £300,000 to the Environment Agency this month.
Campaigners accused the company’s owners, including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, of ‘making off with our money like bandits’.
Chief executive Peter Simpson and finance boss Steve Buck also made a combined bonus of £2.2million, on top of their combined base pay of more than £900,000.
Feargal Sharkey, an environmental protester, told the Financial Times: ‘Anglian has no shame.
At a time when many people are struggling with the cost of living, we are being forced to pay for these fat-cat dividends and salaries through our water bills.
‘Not only are they making off with our money like bandits, they are polluting our rivers and depleting our future water supplies.’
Anglian serves 7m customers across 13 counties in the east of England.
The £92million dividend, for the year to March 2022, was the first handout to shareholders since 2017.
Anglian said its owners had ‘shared our vision of investing today to ensure the long-term resilience of our region’.