Artesian Resources Corporation reported lower earnings for the third quarter.
Revenues for the third quarter of 2017 were $22.4 million, a $0.5 million, or 2.4 percent, increase from the same quarter of 2016. Water sales revenue increased $400,000 million, or 1.9 percent, to $20 million for the third quarter of 2017 compared to $19.7 million for the third quarter of 2016.
The increase is due primarily to an increase in the Distribution System Improvement Charge, or DSIC rate increase, and an increase in the number of customers. Artesian is headquartered near Newark.
Net income for the third quarter of 2017 was $3.9 million, a decrease of $400,000 or 9.6 percent, compared to the third quarter of 2016.
Revenues during the first nine months of 2017 increased $2.4 million, or 4 percent to $62 million. Water sales revenue increased $1.8 million, or 3.3 percent, for the nine months ended September 30, from the corresponding period in 2016. The increase in water sales revenue is primarily due to an increase in the DSIC, an increase in the number of customers served and a slight increase in overall water consumption.
Artesian saw an increase in operating expenses, due to increased payroll and employee benefit costs, and repair and maintenance expenses related to water treatment equipment and storage tanks. The increase is also attributed to an increase in purchased water during a relocation of a major transmission main in northern New Castle County, Delaware due to highway construction.
A significant expense was a reported $300,000 contribution to the states Prosperity Partnership, a public-private group that is part of a restructuring of the Delaware Economic Development Office.
Through the first nine months of 2017, Artesian had net income of $10.3 million, an increase of $100,000 or 0.5 percent, compared to the same period of 2016.
Artesian invested $28.3 million in infrastructure improvements during the first nine months of 2017 Improvements included the replacement of aging water mains, enhancement of water treatment facilities, rehabilitation of pumping equipment, upgrade of meter equipment and the relocation of mains as mandated by state highway projects. Artesian also invested in wastewater projects in Delaware, including ongoing construction of an eight-mile pipeline and a 90 million gallon storage lagoon for spray irrigation to disperse treated wastewater from a new industrial customer.
“Through the first nine months of 2017, we have invested in major water infrastructure improvements to ensure our customers receive high-quality water and reliable service and in wastewater projects in Sussex County, Delaware, where new development is occurring,” said Dian C. Taylor, CEO.
Artesian Resources Corporation also announced that its Board of Directors has approved a 1.5 percent increase in the company’s Class A and Class B Common Stock dividend, raising the annual dividend to $0.9408 per share. This marks Artesian Resources Corporation’s 100thconsecutive quarterly dividend and the 21stconsecutive year dividends have been increased.
Artesian Resources Corporation operates as a holding company of subsidiaries offering water, wastewater services and related services on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Artesian Water Company supplies 7.6 billion gallons of water per year through 1,260 miles of water main to approximately 301,000 people.