NEWARK, Del., March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- (Nasdaq: ARTNA) Artesian Resources Corporation (Artesian) today announced that revenues for 2010 were $64.9 million, up 6.5% from $60.9 million in 2009. Net income was $7.6 million, compared to $7.3 million last year. Diluted net income per common share for 2010 rose 3.1% to $1.00 from $0.97 in 2009.
"In these difficult economic times, we have maintained our superior service to our water utility customers and also have had continued success at growing our other service lines," said Dian C. Taylor, Chair, President & CEO. "The portion of our total operating revenue derived from wastewater and non-utility businesses increased from 12% in 2009 to 13% in 2010 as a result of the continued growth of those businesses. Our award-winning water recycling partnership in Middletown, Delaware, which brought together state and local government officials and private parties to save millions of gallons of water this past year, is confirmation that our focus on total water resource management is not only good business but also of great value to the environment and our communities. We believe that the provision of our complementary services across the Delmarva Peninsula will position us well to benefit in the future as overall economic conditions improve."
Water sales revenues increased 5.2%, from $53.9 million in 2009 to $56.7 million in 2010. Water consumption, reduced in the prior year as a result of heavy precipitation, returned to the average annual per capita consumption over a five-year period. The number of customers served by Artesian increased by 1,500, or 1.9%, in 2010.
Other utility revenues increased 34.6%, from $2.2 million in 2009 to $3.0 million in 2010, as a result of greater wastewater utility revenues and an increase in service charges.
Non-utility revenue was $5.2 million, up 8.2% from $4.8 million in 2009. The increase was primarily the result of increases in revenues from Artesian's water and wastewater Service Line Protection Plans, which continue to be popular with customers. The Service Line Protection Plans provide coverage for all material and labor required to repair or replace participants' leaking water service or clogged sewer lines up to an annual limit.
Operating expenses, excluding income taxes and depreciation, increased by 7.4% to $38.5 million in 2010. The major components of the increase were higher payroll and related benefits costs, higher rates for purchased water and greater repair, maintenance and fuel costs. However, the ratio of utility and non-utility operating expenses to total operating revenues remained relatively flat at 53.5%.
For the three months ending December 31, 2010, revenues were $15.9 million, up from $15.5 million for the same time period in 2009. Net income was $1.3 million, compared to $1.5 million last year. Diluted net income per common share for the three months ended December 31, 2010, was $0.17, down from $0.20 for the comparable period in 2009.
Artesian paid out dividends every quarter in 2010 as it has for the last 18 years. In 2010, the annual common stock dividend was increased twice, by 0.5% in April and another 0.5% in October, bringing the annual dividend to $0.7568 per share. Over the last five years, Artesian has increased its dividend at a 4.8% average annualized rate.
Other highlights of the past year include:
- Artesian closed on the acquisition of the water assets of Port Deposit, Maryland, which included access to the Susquehanna River as a source of supply.
- Artesian Senior Vice President Bruce Kraeuter was appointed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Water Sector Coordinating Council, one of ten sector councils that address the safety of the nation's critical infrastructure.
About Artesian Resources
Artesian Resources Corporation operates as the holding company of eight wholly-owned subsidiaries offering water, wastewater and engineering services on the Delmarva Peninsula. Artesian Water Company, the principal subsidiary, is the oldest and largest investor-owned public water utility on the Delmarva Peninsula, and has been providing water service since 1905.
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SOURCE Artesian Resources Corporation