Artesian Resources reports higher earnings in second quarter, first half

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Artesian Resources Corporation reported higher net income for the second quarter and first half.

Net income for the second quarter of 2018 was $3.9 million, an increase of $700,000 compared to the second quarter of 2017. The company is headquartered in the Stanton-Christiana area.

“We are pleased to report continued growth and economic vitality, reflected in our financial results for 2018,” said Dian C. Taylor, CEO. “Access to reliable water and wastewater infrastructure and quality service is a key driver of economic development. We continue to be enthusiastic about the pace of new business development opportunities and demand for our expertise occurring throughout our franchise areas, particularly in Sussex County, Delaware and Cecil County, Maryland,” said Taylor.

Revenues for the second quarter of 2018 were $20.2 million, $0.3 million, or 1.3%, less than the $20.5 million in revenues recorded for the same three month period of 2017. Water sales decreased $400,000 for the three months ended June 30, compared to the same period a year ago, primarily due to amounts being held in reserve pending the final determination of the potential rate relief due to customers as a result of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This decrease is partially offset by an increase in overall water consumption and an increase of approximately 1,800 in the number of customers.

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Utility operating expenses decreased $0.5 million, or 5.7 percent, for the three months ended June 30, compared to the same period in 2017, mainly the result of decreases in payroll, employee benefit and purchased water expenses.

Federal and state income tax expense decreased $200,000 for the three months ended June 30, compared to the same period a year ago primarily due to the reduction in federal corporate income tax rate by the tax cut.

Miscellaneous income increased $0.3 million for the three months ended June 30, compared to the same period a year ago due to a pledge made in 2017 the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.

Through the first six months of 2018, net income was $7.4 million, a $1.1 million, or 16.8%, increase compared to the same period a year ago. Diluted net income per common share was $0.80 for the six months ended June 30, 2018, an increase of 15.9% compared to $0.69 for the six months ended June 30, 2017.

Revenues during the first six months of 2018 were $39.1 million, 1.4 percent less than the $39.7 million in revenues recorded for the same six month period in 2017, due to the reserve set aside pending a decision on federal tax cuts reducing customer bills.

The company stated that $23 million has been invested in the first six months of 2018 on water and wastewater infrastructure projects including installation of transmission and distribution facilities, replacement of aging mains, rehabilitation of treatment facilities, and redevelopment of wells and pumping equipment.

The company completed installation of an 8.5-mile wastewater transmission main from Harbeson, Delaware to the Northern Sussex Regional Water Recharge Facility that is nearing completion.Once installed, the lagoon will be capable of accepting approximately 1.25 million gallons per day of process wastewater from Allen Harim Foods.

Once in service, the current stream discharge of the wastewater by Allen Harim will cease and treated water will be used for spray irrigation of cropland, a more environmentally sensitive solution.

The company also struck water service agreements for two warehouse facilities totaling 1.5 million square feet in the Principio Business Park in Cecil County.

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