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With operating profits of £181m on sales of £437m in the year to March 2003, Southern Water has a hefty 41% profit margin. In February 2003, Southern Water Capital, then 49% owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, and France’s Veolia Environnement, agreed to acquire Southern Water’s holding company, First Aqua. Southern Water supplies a million households in southeast England and treats and recycles dirty water from a further million. The company says it has reinvested profits by spending £2 billion on construction and maintenance since 1995.

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Company details
CompanySouthern Water
ActivityWater services provider
LocationWest Sussex
Sales £m437
Profit £m181
Year endFeb 03
Principal shareholdersRoyal Bank of Scotland, Veolia and others

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure **Estimated