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Thailand’s Biggest Water Provider Rises After Profit Gain

Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Eastern Water Resources Development and Management Pcl, Thailand’s biggest private water provider, reached a five-week high in Bangkok trading after reporting a 48 percent increase in second-quarter profit.

The shares climbed 3.8 percent to 10.90 baht at the close in Bangkok, the largest advance since June 15. The benchmark SET Index in comparison rose 0.1 percent.

Net income in the quarter ending June jumped to 379 million baht ($12 million) from 256.4 million baht a year earlier, the company said. Sales climbed 16 percent to 882.4 million baht on an increase in water volumes sold and tariffs, Eastern Water said in a statement to the stock exchange.

The Bangkok-based water company, controlled by state-owned Provincial Waterworks Authority, plans to raise spending by 40 percent after demand from manufacturers grew at more than twice the pace it estimated, Chief Executive Officer Praphant Asava-aree said in May. Profit this year will beat last year’s record on higher water shipment and tariffs, he said.

Carmakers, petrochemical plants and power producers in Thailand have raised output as domestic consumption and investments rebound following the country’s worst floods in almost 70 years in 2011.

Eastern Water is also benefiting from an increase in industrial activity in eastern Rayong province, where General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. have plants, after some manufacturers partly shifted production there when their factories in Thailand’s central region were damaged by the flooding, Praphant said in the interview.

Sales volume in the three months to June climbed 7.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the regulatory filing yesterday.

Eastern Water shares have surged 76 percent this year compared with an 18 percent increase in the SET Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anuchit Nguyen in Bangkok at anguyen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at rhackley@bloomberg.net

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