Greenstar remains ‘very challenged’

GREENSTAR, the waste management firm owned by NTR is “very challenged” in an “uncertain regulatory environment”.

The reasons for the difficulties in the last year are that available waste volumes were significantly reduced, margins eroded and there was reduced landfill prices, according to the company.

Greenstar’s management team undertook a significant cost reduction programme in response and started a series of “margin-enhancing activities” across its business lines. It also said it engaged with government agencies to highlight the issue of below-cost selling.

NTR, the international waste and energy company, has undertaken a major cost-cutting exercise over the last year. It would not confirm how many jobs have been cut but chief executive Michael McNicholas said there was certainly some “impact on headcount”.

NTR took a €190 million write-down on its solar business, Stirling Energy Systems.

The company is not planning a float in the next 12 months and is instead intent on investing in the business.

Mr McNicholas said he wants to have a good look at the business and focus on operating performance.

Yesterday NTR reported a loss of just over €280m for the year to the end of March, with the solar writedown. The group’s revenue increased 35% year-on-year to €329.4m driven by the waste and wind divisions.

Group cash resources increased to €112.4m and total assets, which include investment in wind farm, waste processing and other tangible fixed assets, stand at €996.1m.

“This was a challenging year for NTR. We have taken a hard look at all of our businesses and made the necessary decisions to strengthen the group. We have reined in development spend and costs and are driving increased value from the core businesses.

“The sectors we invest in have significant potential for future growth and I believe we are well positioned to capitalise on this,” said Mr McNicholas.

The company said its US-based wind, recycling and ethanol businesses performed well throughout the year, growing revenues. It also said that while addressing short-term challenges, it continues to have an “ambitious agenda” longer term and remains focused on delivering value from the current portfolio.

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