- About Us
- Customer Service
- Gas Supply
- 2019 Projects
To Our Shareholders:
2018 was a good year—the result of a decade-long drive toward excellence. Our capital projects have paid dividends in safety, reliability, earnings, sales, and customer service. We have seen improvements in the operations and performance at all three of our utilities. In previous years, we set goals of being an innovative, growth, and best practice regional utility. This past year, we took major strides to achieve these goals.
Let’s start with a review. Cash flow from operations was up 100%, operating income 30%, margin 10%, and top line revenue increased by 7%. In Corning, we achieved a decline in bare steel main, leaks, and bad debt. At Pike, we added employees and contractors, allowing us to separate from Orange & Rockland for operational and customer service support. We did extensive tree trimming, line maintenance, and replaced approximately 100 poles. We also weathered Winter Storm Riley effectively to the benefit of our customers. At Leatherstocking, we added main and increased the customer count. At all three companies, we achieved the operational targets outlined in our strategic plans. The specifics of our achievements in 2018 are spelled out in greater detail in the officer letters that follow.
Again, our corporate goals have always been simple: (1) substantially enhance profitability and cash flow, (2) grow rapidly, and (3) achieve excellence in all aspects of our supply, market, field operations, customer service, and finance/back office. We believed achieving these objectives would allow us to replicate our successes across ever larger platforms. We still believe this, but now we must prove we can keep our small company focus and culture in an ever-growing enterprise.
Organic growth opportunities abound--new service territories at Leatherstocking and Pike, and new capital projects at all three utilities. It sounds easy, “invest, grow, and profit.” It isn’t. While our size has been an advantage in flexibility, speed to market, customer service, and personal/personnel commitments; it is a detriment relative to available resources, both human and capital.
This is a company that has only one speed—fast. It’s hard to run ever faster. And yet, that is the direction we must go. The risks are institutional fatigue and outpacing our resources and abilities. Managing these risks will be very challenging, and success is not guaranteed.
Yet despite these risks, I personally have faith in our team, our trade partners, and the customers and communities we serve. Our people have carried us thus far and have been committed to our success. I believe our successes in 2018 will be exceeded in 2019 and beyond. I believe the resources we need to grow will become available, that our people are ready for the challenge, and that they have faith in their company. We are hungry for the bigger and better.
I hope you, our shareholder, have the same faith and vision. Your support has allowed us to reach 2018. Jonas Salk once said, “The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.” Your continued support will facilitate our future work and successes throughout the next decade, allowing us to achieve ever more.
Michael I. German
President and CEO