We have delivered another strong performance against a more challenging backdrop

The best service to customers

Year-on-year improvements in customer satisfaction and lower bills

  • Our pioneering Systems Thinking approach has delivered sustained year-on-year improvements in service for customers
  • We achieved our best ever Service Incentive Mechanism (SIM)scores, ranking us among the best water and wastewater companies, and we anticipate being eligible for a SIM reward of around £16 million for the 2015–20 regulatory period
  • We have delivered these improvements at lower cost, with a 27 per cent reduction in cost to serve, and customer bills have reduced in real terms since 2010

Transforming how the sector supports vulnerable customers

  • We have the sector's most innovative and ambitious assistance schemes supporting over 100,000 customers struggling to pay
  • We launched the North West Hardship Hub, a one-stop-shop platform to help the money advice community easily locate the best cross-sector assistance schemes for vulnerable people

At the lowest sustainable cost

Best performance on outcome delivery incentives against a tougher backdrop

  • We have achieved our best performance yet on our outcome delivery incentives (ODIs) against a backdrop of increasingly challenging targets and periods of extreme weather
  • We earned a net ODI reward of £19.2 million for the year, and we now expect a cumulative ODI reward for the 2015–20 period of around £30 million, at the top end of our previously indicated range

Made strides in operational efficiency

  • Our business plan for 2020–25 was assessed as among the most efficient in Ofwat's Initial Assessment of Plans versus its own view of efficient costs, helping us attain a fast-track rating
  • We are on track to deliver £100 million in total expenditure (totex) outperformance against the scope of our 2015–20 final determination, and secure a run rate that supports our business plan submission for base totex as we transition into the next regulatory period

In a responsible manner

Sector-leading approach delivers all-round resilience

  • We have met our leakage target for 13 consecutive years
  • We are investing £250 million of our outperformance in the current regulatory period to improve resilience further, and have committed to invest an additional £100 million to get a fast start for the next regulatory period
  • We have a stable pension surplus on an IAS 19 basis, and in April 2019 we eliminated our funding deficit and achieved self-sufficiency by prepaying the remaining agreed contributions
  • Our robust capital structure and relatively low gearing provide long-term financial resilience and future financial flexibility

Consistently trusted reporting

  • We have been awarded the top self-assurance status for three years in a row in Ofwat's Company Monitoring Framework assessment, demonstrating that stakeholders can place the highest levels of trust and confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our reporting