A Change of Guard

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Thursday 28 January 2016

Revenue Surges 40 percent at Water Supplier

Revenue Surges 40 percent at Water Supplier

Khmer Times/May Kunmakara
Tuesday, 26 January 2016

A trader takes a photo a the Cambodia Stock Exchange in Phnom Penh yesterday. KT/ Mai Vireak

Revenue for the state-owed Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) surged more than 40 percent last year from 2014, according to a preliminary report released last week.
PPWSA – one of two-state-owned enterprises listed on the stock exchange – generated $56.44 million in revenue in 2015 compared to $39 million in 2014, while net profit rose 9 percent to $12.392 million last year from $11.363 million in 2014, the report said. 
Sim Sitha, director general of PPWSA, said the surge in revenue was a result of new customers connecting to its service, which included expansions made possible by water-supply projects conducted with the Japan International Cooperation Agency. 
PPWSA supplies water to about 280,800 households in Phnom Penh alone, the report said. 
Svay Hay, president and CEO of Acleda Securities, said that rise in revenue will give PPWSA shareholders more confidence. 
“The increase will benefit shareholders, especially those who bought and hold shares for the medium and long term,” he said.
Mr. Sitha said that besides rising revenue, PPWSA also planned to raise dividends paid to shareholders in the upcoming months. “At this time, I cannot say how much we are going to increase the dividends for our shareholders because the financial report was just an interim report and we will release the final report [on the company’s financial performance for 2015] in March,” he said. "At that time, the company will be able to determine how much it can increase the percentage of profits that go do dividends after getting approval from the board,” he said. 

Mr. Sitha said that the company had already informed its board that it planned to increase the percentage of profits that go to dividends “a little bit.” “However, I cannot tell you how much the percentage will be,” he added. 
Mr. Hay said investors would appreciate increases of dividend yields of the listed firm(s), which will encourage them to invest more. 
In 2014, PPWSA paid $2.2 million in dividends to its shareholders who received $0.026 per share – up 20 percent from 2013. 
Mr. Sitha said he hopes that the good business performance this year would enhance the company’s image as well as its share price to attract more trading of its shares. “With our good results there will be a positive impact on our stock price. However, I cannot say our shares will trade very well this year because it is a free market. It is up to investors whether they invest more or less,” he added.  
The price of PPWSA closed at 4,720 riel per share yesterday with just 500 shares changing hands, according to the CSX. 
Last year, PPWSA released a plan saying it would cut $200,000 per year from its revenue to lower water prices for residents of Phnom Penh, primarily to benefit rooms rented by garment factory workers and university students. The plan covers 4,356 houses with 90,478 rooms, according to Mr. Sitha.

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