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... but wet leaves $30m hole in Actew profits

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It seems wet weather can be bad for some business, with extreme rainfall resulting in Actew Corporation recording a $30.6million profit loss last financial year.

The ACT Government-owned water and sewerage company recorded an after-tax profit of $60.8million for 2010-11, down from $91.4million in 2009-2010, according to figures unveiled yesterday in its annual report. The company has attributed this 33per cent profit loss to a decrease in water consumption spurred by cool weather and higher-than-usual rainfall.

Water revenue dropped by $11.6million as households took advantage of the wet weather and cut back on watering their gardens.

According to statistics provided in the report, 866mm of rainfall has already fallen in 2011, up from 612mm in 2010.

Annual inflows into the ACT's four reservoirs have reached a 23-year high, swelling to 436.5GL, well above the long-term average of 227.1GL.

Average annual water consumption has also decreased from 114kL per person in 2010 to 101kL per person this year - however this could change as the year progresses.

Actew's borrowings have ballooning to $1.2billion, resulting in a hike in interest rate payments.

This pushed the company's gearing level up from 41 per cent in 2010 to 52.8 per cent.

However, Chairman John Mackay described the company's results as ''strong''.

He said the enlarged Cotter Dam and Murrumbidgee to Googong Water Transfer would ''greatly improve'' water security in the ACT for many years to come.

The report also revealed payments to the ACT Government during 2010-11 totalled $65.8million as dividends and $40.3million in income tax equivalent payments.

ActewAGL continues to be a healthy earner for Actew, with joint-venture income reaching $83.8million in 2010-11.

The company's priorities for 2011-12 are centred around completing construction on major projects.

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