What The Papers Say: Utilities companies remain in hot water

City analysts and financial journalists like the utilities companies. While the headline profits look large, there are big sums sloshing about in capital expenditure, acquisitions and now the threat of the windfall tax. However, the water companies’ first reporting round of the new administration shows that they have a disastrous PR record which Brown, Prescott and co will gleefully exploit.

City analysts and financial journalists like the utilities

companies. While the headline profits look large, there are big sums

sloshing about in capital expenditure, acquisitions and now the threat

of the windfall tax. However, the water companies’ first reporting round

of the new administration shows that they have a disastrous PR record

which Brown, Prescott and co will gleefully exploit.



Dividends, fat cat salaries and threatened water shortages provide

fruitful ground for the papers. While, to some it is water off a duck’s

back, even relative minnows like Anglian had to face the music last week

as they paid an early dividend to shareholders.



As for the windfall tax, the companies claimed uncertainty on how it

would be directed - but it did not put them off their stride. They

argued that the tax would push them to sack staff. ’The tax could see

the Government’s whole welfare-to-work programme being used to fund jobs

for a lot of ex-utility employees’, said the Sunday Telegraph.



Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by The

Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can also be found

at: http//www.carma.com/carma.



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