Irish

Saturday 2 August 2014

Viridian makes €15m profit after tough year

John Mulligan

Published 30/01/2013|05:00

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Viridian Energy surged back into the black last year, posting a €15.1m operating profit compared to a near €2m loss the previous year as the regulator allowed Viridian to hike prices.

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The company, which trades here as Energia, said the rise in profits came as retail customers were squeezed with higher margins.

The company, which operates a power station in north Dublin, said revenue jumped 10.1pc to €887m in the 12 months to the end of March 2012, primarily due to higher wholesale and retail prices.

It said revenue also increased due to the generation of higher amounts of wind energy available for sale.

"This price increase has been partly offset by a reduction in retail gas volumes during the year, reflecting lower customer consumption and customer numbers," the directors said.

The company – part of the Northern Ireland-based Viridian Group – added that electricity sales volumes in the financial year were unchanged, but that gas volume sales slumped nearly 20pc.

In March last year, Viridian's owner, Bahrain's Arcapita Bank, filed for bankruptcy protection in the US as it sought to reorganise its finances. It had failed to refinance a $1.1bn (€820m) loan that was about to fall due.

The Viridian Group managed to refinance its balance sheet, receiving a €120m cash injection from Arcapita days before that bankruptcy protection was sought. It also secured a €503m high-yield bond deal.

The refinancing resulted in Viridian Energy incurring a €5.7m exceptional financing charge in its last financial year.

Viridian said that it was no longer financially dependent on Arcapita or any of the other related companies that were part of the bankruptcy prot- ection proceedings.

The accounts for Viridian Energy show that its operating costs climbed to €871.7m last year from €807m.

That financing charge resulted in Viridian Energy posting a pre-tax profit of just over €9m compared to a €2.7m loss a year earlier.

Irish Independent

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