Anchored by Purpose: Building a resilient future 


Our purpose is to bring environmental and social prosperity to the region we serve through our commitment to Love Every Drop. This kept us striving for the greatest outcomes during a challenging year defined by sector instability, operational challenges driven by climate change and a continued cost-of-living crisis. Our Annual Integrated Report provides an update on our performance throughout the financial year 2023/24. 

2023/24 was a year of strong financial performance, underlined by support from our shareholders, who have agreed £350 million of additional investment - including £100 million to accelerate our work on reducing spills and pollutions. The year also saw our highest-ever annual investment in our capital programme, with over £960 million invested in schemes to build resilience and support environmental improvements. With next year marking the last year of AMP7 (2020-2025) we are in a strong financial position, with all funding in place to complete our plans to 2025. 


Steady progress on operational performance continued through extreme weather challenges as our region experienced widespread flooding during the second half of the year; now on record as the wettest six months. Despite not meeting the levels we or our customers aspire to, our pollutions and spills performance is showing positive and sustainable improvements. We continue to look ahead to address the impacts of climate change, particularly around flooding. This year, we established a multi-agency approach to flooding in key areas, to ensure complex flood risks are managed at a catchment-level.  


Although this year was defined by heavy rains and excess water, we maintained our focus on building resilience against drought. We recorded our lowest-ever three-year rolling average for leakage and also continued rapid deployment of smart meters, installing 262,621 in 2023/24 – which supports customers to manage their water use as well as identify leaks.  


Over the last 12 months, we continued to deliver on our customers number one priority – safe, high-quality drinking water. We achieved our best acceptance score for safe reliable drinking water to date, which is indicative of an improving trend over the past decade.  


Furthermore, we continued to build on our industry-leading support for vulnerable customers. Despite industry challenges, we’ve managed to keep bills low, rising by little more than 10% since privatisation (excluding inflation). This year, we supported 389,371 customers through a £136.9 million package. Our continued focus on supporting customers was demonstrated through our improved Customer Measure of Experience (CMeX), leading Developer Measure of Experience (DMeX) and retailer satisfaction scores, while an independent survey, run by the Consumer Council for Water showed positive and above average scores for our service.  


Given the headwinds we have experienced this year, it’s encouraging to see the latest results from the Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Tracker®, where we received a score of 100% for purpose and values this year. Furthermore, as the first company to be assessed against the new PAS 808:2022 standard for embedding purpose in organisations this year, we were confirmed as an organisation with purpose-driven principles fully embedded.  


Our commitment to improving diversity at all levels of our organisation was also recognised, as we were named as one of the Times Top 50 Employers for Gender Equality 2023 and as one of the ‘Top 10 Best Performing Private Companies’ in the 2024 FTSE Women Leaders Review. 


This year was also a pivotal, in that we developed and submitted our stretching business plan for AMP8 to Ofwat. Our business plan, worth over £9 billion, is the next step in our long-term plan to ensure we are building resilience against the impacts of climate change, unlocking growth for our region while keeping bills affordable and supporting customers when they need it most.