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Consolidated Water Earnings Drop on BVI, Mexico

Consolidated Water Co., the largest water provider in the Caribbean, said first-quarter profit fell 82 percent on lower earnings from a British Virgin Islands investment and higher development costs for a project in Mexico.

The shares tumbled after the company reported net income for the quarter ending March was $655,000 versus $3.7 million a year earlier. Consolidated Water cited a drop in profit sharing from affiliate OC-BVI and increased costs related to a Baja California desalination project.

Revenue slipped 1 percent to $16.3 million as the volume of water sold by retail operations declined and service sales dropped 9 percent, the Georgetown, Cayman Islands-based company said in a statement. Results in the Cayman Islands were hurt by a 12-fold rise in rainfall in the quarter compared with the year-earlier period, it said.

The company reported its results after the close of regular trading yesterday. Shares fell 11 percent to $11.17 at the close in New York today, the biggest drop in six months. They’ve fallen 21 percent this year compared with a 6.7 percent gain by the 19-member Bloomberg World Water Index.

The Caymans’ water authority has awarded the company contracts this year to upgrade a desalination plant on Grand Cayman, extend a contract for the North Sound facility and provide a 60,000 gallon-a-day desalination plant on Cayman Brac due to be ready later in 2014, Consolidated Water said.

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