Belize City’s Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel was the venue for the 9th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) on Friday August 27. The highlights of the event were reports on the state of the majority Government of Belize owned company, presented by the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Herman Longsworth and by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Alvan Haynes.
In his report, Chairman Longsworth informed that “The Company increased its overall profits in the reporting period by 136% from 2.069 million dollars in 2008/09 to 4.878 million dollars in 2009/2010. “This increase in profits was, for the most part,” informed Chairman Longsworth “a result of exemplary efforts of the Management and Staff at reducing cost by 5.2%, from 27.604 million dollars to 26.169 million".
Chairman Longsworth went on to inform that “despite an increase of 2.3% in the volume of water consumed by our customers over the previous year, the company managed to decrease water production by 4.3%. “This” he said, “is a direct result of the most commendable efforts of the Operations Department and in particular the Non-Revenue Water section of that department.” “The amount of Non-Revenue Water has gone down from 34.5% last year to 29.4% this year. This remarkable improvement”, he informed “has resulted in BWS’ Non-Revenue Water becoming a model in the region and in other parts of the world.”
In terms of capital investment, the Chairman informed that the “Caye Caulker water project was completed; extensive upgrades were done to the distribution network on the south side of Belize City. Systems were expanded in Belize City, Belmopan, Punta Gorda, San Ignacio and Benque Viejo Town. Other improvements and refurbishments were done to existing assets throughout the country.”
Apart from the hard work and dedication displayed by the Board of Directors, Management & Staff, “The success of the company”, informed Chairman Longsworth “is also due in large part by the unwavering support received from the Government of Belize who this year, for a second consecutive year, elected to forgo its dividend as the majority shareholder allowing for the historic payment of 15 cents per share to minority shareholders.”
For his part, apart from reiterating remarkable achievements of the company this year, Chief Executive Officer, Alvan Haynes informed that “The Company has achieved its highest profit to date, primarily due to successful efforts to reduce costs.” CEO Haynes additionally informed that “The main contributor, Water Sales Revenue of 30.5 million dollars, up from 29.563 last year, increased by 3.2% driven by an increase in the volume of water sold. The company ended the year with 45,537 active customer connections which went up from 44,610 last year.”
On the operations side, CEO Haynes informed that “Due to aggressive leak detection and the success of pressure management exercise, the Company’s water production for this financial year decreased by 4.3% from 2,801 million US gallons last year to 2,679 million US gallons this year. This reduction” said CEO Haynes “resulted in decreases in electricity and chemical consumption during the year.” CEO Haynes informed that "the increase in revenue due to increased reduction in water loss (Non-Revenue Water) resulted from the Company’s aggressive monitoring and proactive search for leaks, illegal connections and pressure management exercises. It also represents the lowest Non-Revenue Water record in the Company’s nine year history.”
Another highlight of the event was the raffling of several fabulous prizes including a round trip to anywhere in the continental USA plus $500 cash, a washer, a 42” flat screen television set, cellular telephones, among other prizes.