This Worthing-based utility provides water and waste-disposal services to households in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Run by chief executive Les Dawson, the company supplies water to 1m British homes and disposes of waste for nearly twice that number. Southern Water says that a combination of wetter weather, some £20m of investment in fixing leaking pipes and water-saving by its customers mean that reservoirs and ground water have returned to normal levels. This has allowed it to lift the hosepipe ban imposed in response to last year’s drought. Sales reached £542m in 2006, with strong profit margins. Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns half the business, is now reportedly looking to sell its stake.
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