The UK provided a bright spot in the latest trading results for Suez Environnement, parent of SITA.
In its first quarter results for 2013, the company said its waste sector in Europe saw activity worth €1,583m, some 4.6% down on the same period in 2012.
The division was hit by a particularly difficult macro-economic environment, adverse weather conditions, and a negative commodities price effect, the company said.
But there was growth of 1.3%, equivalent to €4m, in the UK and Scandinavia business, where SITA benefitted from the rise in UK landfill tax rates.
New contracts had been signed with local authorities in Durham (€130m over eight years) and Cornwall (€1.4bn over 30 years) and Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (€1.4bn over 30 years).
SITA France posted a contraction of -6.3% (-€57m) and in Benelux/ Germany SITA contracted by of -9.7% (-€39m), though there was growth of +6.2% (+€3m) in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Suez Environnement also has interest in the water industry, and that half of the company posted an increase in revenue of 3.3% to €1.04bn.
This meant the company overall saw revenue down by 2.6% to €3.5bn but pre-tax earnings up by 0.8% to €570m
Chief executive Jean-Louis Chaussade said: “Our group’s performance remains good despite an economic context that is particularly difficult in Europe in the beginning of 2013.”
He said the European water and non-European businesses had performed well but “waste Europe has been affected by a decrease in treated volumes, a direct consequence of the decline of industrial production in Europe”.