Thursday 22 February 2018

Turnover doubles at Gaelectric but operating loss widens: accounts

Brendan McGrath, chief executive of Gaelectric Photo:
Brendan McGrath, chief executive of Gaelectric Photo:
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Turnover at renewable-energy firm Gaelectric more than doubled in its last financial year to €12.7m, but its operating loss widened to €7.3m, according to accounts just filed for the business.

The company posted a pre-tax loss of €8.6m after a large exceptional gain in the previous year was not repeated.

In its previous financial year, Gaelectric recorded a €16m exceptional gain from the sale of a financial asset.

With energy assets in Europe and North America, Gaelectric said that it generated €9.9m of its turnover last year from the sale of electricity and €2.3m from fee income. Those figures compared to €3.8m and €451,000 respectively in the previous financial year.

Gaelectric's net debt soared to €172m at the end of March last year from €68.7m a year earlier. It had net assets of €14m at the end of last March, compared to €26.4m at the end of the previous year.

"The directors believe that the group is well-placed to manage its funding requirements successfully," the accounts note. The company is headed by chief executive Brendan McGrath.

Last month, Gaelectric issued a €10m green bond to raise cash for its wind, solar and energy-storage operations.

That bond was issued via BCP Asset Management and offered investors a return of 28pc at the end of a three-year term, with a minimum investment of €25,000.

Mr McGrath said the response to the bond was "very encouraging".

As well as renewable-energy generation, the company is also involved in a number of energy-storage projects.

It has signed a deal with Elon Musk's Tesla to work on a battery-storage project and last week filed for planning permission for a massive compressed-air energy storage project in Co Antrim.

Storage projects enable energy produced from wind to power homes when wind levels fall.

The company hopes that the technology used in the Antrim project can be deployed elsewhere.

Gaelectric has been on an aggressive acquisitions spree in recent times as it aims to build a 400 megawatt portfolio by the end of 2017. One megawatt is enough energy to power around 1000 homes.

As of mid-December, the company had about 175 megawatts of operational capacity and expected a further 95 megawatts to come on stream by September of this year.

Sunday Indo Business

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