Southwest Water tops $100 million in revenue and earns record operating income
In 2000, for the first time in its history, Southwest Water Co. generated more than $100 million in revenues, a 30 percent gain over the prior year.
WEST COVINA, Calif., Jan. 25, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE)—In 2000, for the first time in its history, Southwest Water Co. (Nasdaq:SWWC) generated more than $100 million in revenues, a 30 percent gain over the prior year.
Diluted earnings per common share increased 24 percent to $.62 in 2000 from $.50 in 1999, excluding a one-time gain on the sale of land in 1999. Earnings per share amounts reflect a 5-for-4 stock split, in the form of a stock dividend, paid on Jan. 19, 2001, to stockholders of record on Dec. 31, 2000.
Anton C. Garnier, Southwest Water president and chief executive officer, said: "Our financial growth in 2000 resulted primarily from the achievement of three key strategic goals.
"First, we expanded our regulated utility customer base by 15 percent with the acquisition of utility customers in California and Texas. Second, we enhanced contract operations revenue by 29 percent on the strength of new contracts and increased work for existing clients. Third, we broadened the geographic and operational scope of our business with the purchase of Master Tek International Inc."
Garnier elaborated on these achievements, saying: "The Master Tek acquisition launched Southwest Water into the utility submetering business and gave us a presence in 26 additional states. In submetering, electronic utility measuring equipment is installed in apartments and other multi-family dwellings to allow an allocation of charges for water, gas and electricity usage for each residential unit. Acquired in April 2000, Master Tek contributed approximately $6 million to our revenues for the year and was accretive to earnings."
Garnier continued: "At ECO Resources Inc., our contract operations subsidiary, revenues increased from $42 to $55 million in 2000. Included in this amount is approximately $6.5 million from the construction of a reverse osmosis water treatment plant for the El Paso County Water Authority (EPCWA). Earlier this month, we began operating the facility as part of a 20-year contract with the EPCWA.
"Our regulated utility division generated the remaining 43 percent of our revenues for 2000 and added approximately 12,000 new customer connections during the year. Of those, 7,000 are the result of the February 2000 acquisition of the West Covina water utility system, adjacent to our existing California utility service area.
"Another 4,000 came from the purchase in November of two water utilities in a growing area near Austin, Texas, and the remaining 1,000 resulted from continued development in our New Mexico utility service area. Our utility division continues to generate the major portion of our earnings."
Garnier concluded: "We are excited to have topped the $100 million revenue mark, and we are pleased to have achieved the three key objectives we set for ourselves in 2000. Our challenge for 2001 and beyond is to build on those achievements. I believe the experience, skill and dedication of our 640 employees, together with the vision and guidance of our board of directors, will enable us to do so."
About Southwest Water Co.
Southwest Water Co. provides a broad range of services, including water production and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, and utility submetering. The company owns regulated public utilities and also serves cities, utility districts and private companies under contract. More than a million people in 29 states from coast to coast depend on Southwest Water for high-quality, reliable service.