Operating margins are close to 40% at Southern Water, which achieved a £24m rise in sales to £455m in 2004, with operating profits of £175m, excluding interest payments of £93m. The Worthing firm, which was bought by Royal Bank of Scotland and Veolia in 2003, is chaired by Bob Thian. It supplies 1m households in southeast England, and treats and recycles dirty water from nearly 2m. The company signed a £750m contract with a consortium to work on an investment programme for upgrading river and tap water.
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