NTR plc Reports Financial Results for Year Ended 31 March 2012
July 26 2012
Achieves solid operating performance, doubles EBITDA
Invests €107 million across portfolio
NTR's focus during the year was on delivering the first phase of its three-year strategic plan. Central to this plan is preserving cash, driving operating performance and efficiencies across the Group, rebalancing the portfolio of investments and growing the value of the portfolio.
The results reflect a solid performance by the company, with EBITDA doubling to €17.4 million. The Group’s revenue is stable at €327.0 million compared to €329.4 million in 2011. Excluding prior year revenue of €12 million from Roads businesses sold during that year, underlying revenue increased by 3%. Group cash resources stand at €43.7 million and total assets, which include investments in wind farm, waste processing and other tangible fixed assets, have increased from €996.1 million to €1,017.1 million. Losses for the year have been reduced to €88.8 million.
In line with its strategy to consolidate the portfolio, NTR increased its shareholding in Wind Capital Group from 62% to 97% and invested further project equity into Wind Capital’s Post Rock wind facility, which successfully completed financing in December. The Group generated €53.9 million for reinvestment by selling 10.7 million of its shares in Green Plains Renewable Energy (GPRE), reducing its shareholding in the ethanol producer from 31% to 2%. In total, the Group invested some €107 million of capital into assets across the portfolio during the year, including completing its funding obligations for the Roads and Waste Divisions.
Business highlights of the year include:
Wind Capital Group successfully completed debt and tax equity financing for its 201 MW Post Rock wind farm in Kansas, one of the largest renewables projects to secure financing worldwide during the year. Post Rock is now under construction. It will achieve commercial operation this year and generate operating profit in 2013. The Lost Creek wind facility, in its first full year of operation, has performed very strongly, exceeding revenue and operating targets.
Greenstar Recycling (North America) grew revenue by US$18 million (7.95%) year on year to US$244.1 million. The company expanded its geographic reach by financing and building its Akron, Ohio, single-stream facility, which has capacity for up to 15,000 tons per month. After a very strong first half performance, commodity prices declined sharply in the second half, impacting results for the year overall.
Greenstar (Ireland) has performed in line with expectations, despite continuing challenging market conditions. During the year, Greenstar further enhanced its waste to energy platform with the development of new landfill gas projects. Greenstar landfills were 100% utilised during the year, but the second half proved challenging as landfill prices, having stabilised, again came under pressure. As a result, Greenstar has decided to close its operating landfills over the next three years, unless prices improve to the point where landfills are commercially viable. Discussions are ongoing between Greenstar and its lenders about refinancing.
The Group sold the majority of its shares in Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRE) in several tranches, realising €53.9 million for NTR, with an additional €20.4 million payable by GPRE to NTR in March 2013. This reduced the Group’s shareholding from 31% to 2%. In all, 10.7 million shares were sold in a combination of market offerings and a buy-back of shares by GPRE. Shortly after year end, NTR sold its share in BioProcessAlgae to GPRE (one of its joint venture partners) for a small profit on our invested capital.
Regarding the Group’s other Irish infrastructure assets, Celtic Anglian Water had another good year, and is one of the most efficient water treatment enterprises in Ireland. National Toll Roads saw traffic volumes increase somewhat in its Waterford and Portlaoise projects, although still below projections.
Commenting on the year, Michael McNicholas, Chief Executive of NTR plc, said: "We have made progress in the first year of our plan, reducing the risk profile of the Group, rebalancing the portfolio of investments, and improving the operating performance of our businesses. We have also invested significant capital and grown the value of the Group. However, this is just the first year of a three-year plan, and against the backdrop of a very uncertain global economy, many risks and challenges remain to be dealt with."
Group Revenue from continuing operations was €327.0 million, compared to €329.4 million in 2011. Higher revenue in the Wind division and at Greenstar North America was offset by a slight decline at Greenstar Ireland.
Group EBITDA from continuing operations before impairments, fair value adjustments and profits/(losses) on business disposals was €17.4 million, up from €8.7 million in the prior year. This reflects growth in earnings in Wind of €6.7 million, reflecting a full year’s contribution from the Lost Creek wind farm; lower losses recognised in respect of Roads contributing a €9.6 million increase in earnings; a reduction in central costs contributing €10.2 million; offset by a contraction in earnings in Waste of €17.7 million.
Total assets increased from €996.1 million in 2011 to €1,017.1 million at 31 March 2012. This includes a €221 million increase in the value of property, plant and equipment from €435.2 million to €656.5 million, reflecting additional investments in wind farm, waste processing and other tangible fixed assets.
After completing investments of €107 million, Cash is at €43.7 million (down from €112.4 million in 2011). In addition, Trade & Other Receivables includes €20.4 million due from GPRE.
Impairments and fair value charges from continuing operations of €62.9 million (2011: €99.0 million), largely driven by Irish waste (€34.8 million) and writing down NTR’s investment in Imagine (€21.5 million) increased the loss for the year but do not have any cash impact.
Profit from discontinued businesses of €46.3 million, arising from the release of provisions no longer required in respect of the sale of Airtricity (€25.3 million) and the de-recognition of various provisions and liabilities in the Solar businesses (€60.5 million), offset by a loss on the disposal of part of the Group’s shareholding in Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. (€39.1 million), reduced the losses for the year.
Losses for the year (inclusive of impairments and provisions released) were €88.8 million, compared to €381 million last year.
The Board is not recommending a dividend for the year and will continue to keep the policy under review.
Notes to Editors
About NTR plc
NTR plc is a leading investor in renewable energy and sustainable waste management businesses. Founded in 1978, NTR has evolved from being a developer and operator of infrastructure in Ireland to an international developer and operator of renewable energy and sustainable waste management businesses in the USA and Ireland. www.ntrplc.com http://www.ntrplc.com/
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