Kedco, a clean energy producer, is hoping its success in gaining finance for its power generating plant in Newry will be the springboard to catapult it into the black.
The company, which has been cutting back costs to conserve cash, saw loss before tax narrow to €0.37m in the six months to the end of 2011 from a loss of €1.43m the year before.
The group made a profit at the operating level of €0.39m versus a loss the year before of €0.45m, but chunky finance costs of €0.57m (2010: €0.79m) and a share of losses (after tax) on joint ventures of €0.19m (2010:losses of €0.20m) tipped the company into the red.
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Revenue more than doubled to €11.76m from €5.41m the year before as the company transferred the initial portion of the generating plant to its joint venture company Newry Biomass, realising €7.2m in turnover.
The non-core wood processing business in Latvia, which the group is trying to get shot of, chipped in with turnover of €4,4m and earnings before interest,tax, depreciation and amortisation of €0.61m.
Explaining the company's ownership of a Latvian operation, Chief Executive Officer Gerry Madden explained to Sharecast that "the world was a very different place when we formed in 2005." In those far flung days, the company was planning global operations but its new focus is on Ireland and the UK.
"You have to play with what is in front of you. Our focus used to be the whole world," Madden joked, before adding that "the market is very unforgiving".
That certainly seems to be the case with the reaction to the results, as the shares lost a tenth of their value, sliding to 1.45p, having dipped to 1.39p at one stage.
Madden remains optimistic about the future, however. As well as the plant in Newry, Northern Ireland, the company is quite advanced with plans for a 12 megawatt gasification plant in Enfield, North London, and has sites lined up in Derbyshire and Rutland.
"The important thing for us is getting finance in place for Newry, as it sends a signal to backers looking to invest in the rest of our pipeline," Madden said.
"All of our current projects are progressing to plan, and as we move on in 2012, the company has a clear focus on creating shareholder value through execution of our project pipeline," Madden said.
At 31st December 2011 the company had cash of €327,801. In January, the company drew down all of a second €1.2m convertible loan facility from Farmer Business Developments, the company's largest shareholder, which may be what has perturbed the market. Clearly, the sale of the company's 80% stake in the Latvian plant would be seen as a positive development for the company.
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