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Group profits boosted by Viridor performance

The Pennon Group, parent company of waste management and energy-from-waste (EfW) division Viridor, has reported a first-half pretax profits rise of 11.6%.

Profits to the end of September 2011 were £107.4m - slightly higher than the predicted £105.7m.

The company said the results were helped by strong growth by Viridor, which now accounts for a third of the group’s profits. Viridor’s profits rose 7% to £30.6m.

Ken Harvey, Pennon chairman, said: “Viridor continues to grow and its long-term profit momentum is underpinned by its developing pipeline of major energy-from-waste and PPP projects.”

The company said more than half of Viridor’s profits came from recovering value from waste through either recycling or EfW generation. It reported that recycling revenue per tonne in H1 2011/12 was up 16% to £125. Traded recycling increased by 55,000 tonnes (6%) during this period.

Viridor’s total operational renewable energy capacity stands at 135MW with a further 115MW “committed but not operational”.

Its half year report stated: “Recycling is now the company’s largest profit generator and will be key in the next two years. Viridor is not immune to the difficult conditions in the world economy which may have an impact on results in the shorter-term. EfW/PPP projects already contribute to the bottom line, and a healthy pipeline is expected to underpin the profit momentum of the company longer-term as the plants come on stream from 2013/14 onwards.”

The half year report comes less than a week after Viridor announced a takeover of the Lancashire-based waste logistics firm, JWS Churngold.

Pennon also owns the South West Water utility firm which reported pretax profits up 8.5% to £76.2m.

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