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Small growth for Phnom Penh's water utility

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Pedestrians walk past the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority. Photograph: Sovan Philong/Phnom Penh Post

Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority saw 8.2 per cent revenue growth during the first quarter of the year, a welcomed disclosure after the retirement of the state-owned firm’s general director was announced last week.

The firm took in US$7,725,500 between January and March, up from $7,140,473 during the same period last year, according to a financial statement released on Friday.

At 9.4 per cent, expenditure rose quicker during the first quarter, data showed. The company expended $5,844,742 during the period, compared to $5,340,362 in Q1 2011.

Rising water consumption, new customers and an exchange-rate dividend accounted for increased revenues, said Ros Kimleang, chief of PPWSA’s accounting and financial department.

Increased electricity cost largely contributed to the rise in expenditure, he said.

“I do believe that we will keep growing as we maintain our good business performance,” Ros Kimleang said. “We are going to install a solar system in order to reduce the cost of purchasing electricity.”

Power expenditure accounted for about 50 per cent of the firm’s operating costs, he added.

Brokers called the company’s first financial report after its April 18 listing a reassurance to investors.

“The report showed the issuing company has transparent, accurate information. And what is important is that the revenue grew compared to the same period last year – what shareholders want to see,” Svay Hay, director of Acleda Securities Brokerage firm, said yesterday.

PPWSA closed up at $1.56 yesterday. The company has hovered just above its listing price for four days

Along with Friday’s first-quarter financial disclosure, the retirement of PPWSA’s general director Ek Sonn Chan was announced.

Earlier in the week, the Post obtained an unofficial letter from the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy that outlined Ek Sonn Chan’s departure, as well as the appointment of his replacement.

Sim Sitha, former director of Sihanouk Water Supply, will take the lead role at one of Cambodia’s most carefully watched companies.

Ek Sonn Chan has been approved as a special adviser to PPWSA, Ros Kimleang said.

“It is just a normal change in their management as their staff has finished his mandate of work. I don’t think it will causes any problems,” Ming Bankosal, director general for the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia said yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at kunmakara.may@phnompenhpost.com

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