Bord na Móna confident despite fall in turnover

BORD na Móna remains confident of boosting turnover to around €800 million over the next four to five years, despite seeing a 4% decline to €384m in its last financial year.

The state-backed energy company said the 12 months to the end of March was a challenging period and was impacted by adverse weather, making maintaining profitability “a significant achievement”.

Turnover fell from €401.5m to €384m, with pre-tax profit down by nearly €7m to €12.9m. However, crucially EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), the basis for the company’s borrowing covenants, jumped from €57.2m to €64.6m.

Operating profit was down marginally, at just over €23m and net debt was up by just over €1m, at €57.06m. However, the company managed to reduce its overall pension deficit from €45m to €23m.

In all, shareholders – the state owns 95% of Bord na Móna, with the remainder being controlled by employees – were paid a combined dividend of €5m for the year.

“These figures reflect a very solid performance in a challenging business environment. Despite the unprecedented weather impact on our feedstock supply and stock losses, due to severe flooding, we managed to produce a result in line with our expectations,” said chief executive Gabriel D’Arcy.

Bord na Móna upped its workforce by 72 people, to 2,136, last year and remains bullish about previous estimates of adding 300 new jobs in the coming years.

Such confidence is backed up with a strong pipeline of operational activity. Last week, the company secured planning permission for a €120m, 80 megawatt wind farm at Mount Lucas in Offaly. It also hopes to unveil shortly a joint-venture partner on the first 80 MW tranche of its planned 300 MW capacity Oweninny Wind Farm at Bellacorick in Mayo.

That project will be one of the largest inland wind farms in western Europe when completed.

Mr D’Arcy said such projects are vital if Ireland is to meet its renewable energy targets. He referred to the Oweninny project as being “the most significant renewable energy project in Ireland”.

The company is due this week to present to Dublin City Council its €500m plan to build a new national water supply project on its 500 acre reservoir at Garryhinch in Offaly.


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