Management has mentioned the possibility of this before but has always stressed that floating one or more of its subsidiary companies, rather than taking a group listing (NTR’s shares currently trade on the grey market) would be the preference. Group finance director Michael Walsh said a partial float was still “very much an option” and that the group is “constantly looking at ways to secure liquidity for shareholders”. He added that if such a move was to happen, it would most likely happen some time in 2011.
Meanwhile, NTR has reported a first half operating loss of €64.9 million for the six months to the end of September, up from a €2m operating loss for the same period last year. First half group revenue was down, year-on-year, by 27% at €205.4m. The extended losses were chiefly driven by continued developmental investment in the group’s solar power and wind power subsidiaries.
These losses are expected to continue into next year, as a recurring trend, as developmental investment is likely to continue. However, the losses should be mitigated as a number of NTR’s energy assets are likely to begin generating revenues during the group’s next financial year.
“The results reflect the group’s portfolio balance, highlighting our investment in development businesses. We’ve achieved all the development milestones that we set ourselves at the beginning of the year and in doing so, continue to strengthen our portfolio of green energy and resource-sustaining businesses for future growth and value creation,” Mr Walsh said.
“The strength of our development businesses in the green energy sector is clearly evident in their ability to deliver key development milestones and to secure funding in very challenging economic conditions. Our Greenstar sustainable waste management businesses successfully restored operating margins, while also expanding in key growth areas, during the period,” Mr Walsh added.
Among the half year highlights for NTR were contract wins for its Stirling Energy Systems solar power subsidiary, the successful financing of its Lost Creek wind farm in Missouri and the refinancing of a corporate debt facility at Greenstar Ireland.