Japanese assets help Etrion return to net profit in 2017

Aomori solar park in Japan. Source: Etrion (www.etrion.com).

March 13 (Renewables Now) - Independent solar power producer Etrion Corp (STO:ETX) on Tuesday reported a net profit of USD 16.5 million (EUR 13.4m) for 2017 after losing USD 74.4 million a year before, helped by the strong performance of its Japanese assets and the deconsolidation of its Chilean subsidiary.

Etrion, which is now focused entirely on Japan, booked a one-off extraordinary gain of USD 41 million on the deconsolidation of the its 70%-owned Chilean subsidiary, PV Salvador SpA, that owns the licenses and rights to operate a 70-MW solar power project in northern Chile. The company’s net loss in 2016 was mainly a result of USD 82.6 million in impairment charges related to the 70-MW Chilean project.

Etrion’s assets in Japan include about 57 MW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity, of which 44 MW is already operational and 13 MW is under construction. The plants in the Asian country delivered strong project-level results in 2017, performing above the high end of its forecast.

Project-level earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) helped lift Etrion’s overall EBITDA in 2017 to USD 3.8 million from a loss of USD 415,000 a year back, while revenues increased to USD 21.8 million from USD 15.2 million. Revenues in Japan more than doubled to USD 15.3 million from USD 5.7 million, thanks to capacity additions and higher power generation.

Electricity production in Japan rose to 43,686 MWh in the reporting period from 15,221 MWh at end-2016.

The company provided the following consolidated forecast for 2018:

Figures in USD low end high end
Energy generation (GWh) 37.5 41.5
Revenue 12.9m 14.3m
Project-level EBITDA 8.7m 9.6m

CEO Marco A Northland noted that Etrion’s goal is to start building at least 100 MWs of solar parks in the next 12-18 months. The company's Japanese backlog currently includes four projects totalling 190 MW.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.811)

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