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Phnom Penh Water misses target for 2009

Phnom Penh Water misses target for 2009

Utility reports annual revenues $1 million under expectations

REVENUES at Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) increased by about 5 percent year on year in 2009 but remained under target, said officials.

Representatives from PPWSA told the Post Tuesday that unaudited revenues for 2009 reached more than US$25 million, from an audited $24 million in 2008, ahead of a scheduled initial public offering on Cambodia's new stock exchange later this year.

Officials said that the growth was parallel with the enlargement of its network to the outskirts of the city, but remained below expected 2009 revenues of $26 million.

In 2009, PPWSA attracted 12,000 new customers out of its planned target of 15,000.

“We saw our revenues increase last year, but, we didn’t achieve our planned growth,” said Ros Kim Leang, chief of accounting and the financial department at PPWSA. “The low revenue was due to the global economic crisis, which affected customer consumption and led some factories to close in the commercial and industrial sectors – which are our big customers,” he added.

Ros Kim Leang explained that the company was also affected by network expansion to areas where customers pay low prices for water. An ordinary customer uses up to 7 cubic metres per month, and pays 550 riels ($0.13) per cubic metre. Production costs are around 900 riels ($0.21) per cubic metre.

Ros Kim Leang said that leaks also slowed revenue, although PPWSA had improved performance. He said that last year, PPWSA recorded lost water volumes totalling about 5 percent of supply in 2009, from over 6 percent in 2008.

Despite its below-target performance, PPWSA is on-schedule to pay back its loans, Ros Kim Leang said.

PPWSA has received loans from its development partners worth around $28 million which it is scheduled to repay in 2013.

“We just repaid the first phase of loans to the World Bank,” he said. “We don’t have any problem with repayments so far, because we have $26 million cash in hand.”

Currently, PPWAS can produce about 280,110 cubic metres of water per day in its three water treatment stations in Phnom Penh. It serves 180,000 customers in the capital — representing 90 percent of the city's population and some districts in Kandal province.

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