Jersey Electricity appoints new Chairman
Jersey Electricity out-going Chairman Geoffrey Grime hands over a company 'well positioned for the future'
Jersey Electricity Chairman Geoffrey Grime steps down today after ten years in office. He is succeeded by Phil Austin MBE. During a total of 15 years on the Board Mr Grime has helped steer the Company through a huge period of transition and growth which has seen Group turnover increase from £59m in 2003 to last year’s record £106m and pre-tax profits rise from £6m to £16m in the same period. The share price has risen from £1.85 to £4.50 and the Company is now valued at around £150m.
Mr Grime said: ‘I am pleased to be handing over to the new Chairman a company that is well-positioned for the future and the opportunities it offers. I would also like to thank all of our employees for their hard work and commitment in making Jersey Electricity what it is today.’
One of Mr Grime’s first tasks when he took over from Derek Maltwood as Chairman was to appoint Chris Ambler to succeed Mike Liston as CEO. Together they have overseen major changes throughout the business, including near £250m of infrastructure investment that has transformed Jersey’s network as well as changes in the functions and the non-energy businesses and which today are paying dividends not only to shareholders but also to customers in terms of service delivery and price.
‘When it comes to supply reliability and carbon emissions, Jersey is the envy of the western world,’ said Mr Grime. ‘The price of electricity here is 15% to 20% cheaper than the average price in Europe and the UK, and we are also cheaper than Guernsey and the Isle of Man.’
New Chairman Phil Austin, a former banker, joined the Board in 2016
While Mr Austin has spent most of his career in banking with HSBC, Mr Grime, a Chartered Accountant, began his career in Jersey with Cooper Brothers & Co. He became senior partner of Coopers & Lybrand in 1990. He is a former States Deputy and has served as a Jurat of the Royal Court of Jersey since 2014.
Mr Austin, who joined the Board in 2016 as a non-Executive Director, said: ‘On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to thank Geoffrey for his tremendous service to the Company over the past 15 years and, in particular, for the 10 years when he has been Chairman. The development of the business over that period has been outstanding and he leaves the Company in an excellent position. For my part, I am delighted to be succeeding Geoffrey and I look forward to working with the Board and the management team to continue the success of Jersey Electricity.’