NTR shows losses before tax of almost €50m

NTR has reported a loss before tax from continuing operations of nearly €50m, actually increasing by €5m on the reported losses before tax last year.

However due to the nature of NTR’s windfarm business in the US, the company received nearly €17m in tax payments.

This payment along with another €16m from some discontinued operations, such as the sale of Greenstar, has led to the company reporting a loss for the year of €16.2m, down from losses of €88.8m the same time last year.

Chief executive of NTR plc, Rosheen McGuckian, said that she was very happy with the firm’s performance.

“We are very pleased to report the successful execution of our plan ahead of schedule, which enables NTR to both aim to return capital to shareholders and to re-enter the UK and Irish wind markets with confidence. “There is excellent value to be created by careful selection of quality projects in these markets.”

The company is planning a share buyback programme that will return up to €100m to shareholders.

NTR intends to redeem up to 108.7m ordinary shares at a price of €0.92 per share, with all shareholders receiving a cash amount pro rata to their shareholding. The proposal will be put to shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting after the annual general meeting on Sept 10.

Ms McGuckian said that the company had examined whether to invest the money in further projects or return it to shareholders.

“We looked at what would be needed to invest the €100m and the money that is being generated by our ongoing operations. We have a very healthy cash pile and we had made a commitment to return capital to our shareholders.”

The company gave a brief update on its Irish road assets — the River Suir bridge in Waterford and a toll road facility near Portlaoise.

NTR noted the recession had impacted on traffic volumes on both roads and that road improvements in Waterford, which are anticipated to increase traffic utilising the bridge, have been either scaled back in the short term or delayed.

NTR has completed its three-year reorganisation in two years and is now poised to invest further in the renewable wind sector, targeting Ireland and the UK as a site for investment to compliment the company’s 350MW of wind farms in the US.

“With the completion of the group’s consolidation strategy, NTR has identified the wind energy sector as being the core for its growth plans, with a focus on investing in and managing wind projects that offer attractive cash yields together with stable, predictable returns.

“NTR expects to invest in wind projects at later stages in the development cycle and add wind projects in EU markets to its current assets in the US,” the company said in a statement. Source: Irish Examiner