Etrion financial improvement continues in Q3

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Switzerland’s Etrion, a power producer operating in the solar space, has posted another positive set of quarterly financials that build upon the growth achieved in the second quarter.

For the third quarter (Q3), the Swiss firm generated revenue of $17.2 million, which is an improvement year-over-year on the $15.9 million generated in Q3 2015. For the three quarters ended September 30, revenue for the year reached $43.7 million, which is a slight year-over-year increase. Gross profit for Q3 was $7.9 million, and for the year so far that figure stands at $16.4 million.

Adjusted EBITDA stood at $12 million for Q3 (up from $10.5 million in Q3 2015), while over the year so far that figure is $28.7 million. The firm’s net loss, however, soared in Q3 to $88.3 million – this can be attributed to an impairment expense of $75.7 million and a net deferred tax write-off of $6.9 million.

These losses are both concerned with Etrion’s 70% ownership of the 70 MW Project Salvador solar plant in Chile, where the company was forced into a write-down of the asset due to low spot market electricity prices and decreased energy demand in the country. Etrion CEO Marco A. Northland said it was disappointing that Chile is currently experiencing an oversupply of energy – largely due to decreased demand from mining companies.

"Based on current long-term spot price projections of approximately $38/MWh, we thought it prudent to reduce the carrying value of our Chilean solar asset,” said Northland. “"Under applicable accounting principles, the asset impairment calculation resulted in a write-down of $75.7 million. However, I would like to remind our investors that our net equity invested in Project Salvador was $42.0 million. The related project loan is non-recourse to Etrion. We will maintain this asset on our balance sheet for the time being, as it represents an option in case Chilean electricity prices improve in the future."

Had this one-off impairment not occurred, then Etrion would have been in the black to the tune of $1.5 million thanks to the partial offset of these losses by increased production at the company’s Italian, Japanese and Chilean solar plants.

At the end of the quarter Etrion had a cash balance of $52.7 million, which is a little more than at the same period last year.

"Japan continues to be the main focus for Etrion," said Northland. "We recently connected our second solar park there representing 24.7 MW and began construction of our third project for 9.5 MW. We are on track to reach over 100 MW of projects operating and/or under construction in Japan in the next 12 months, with an additional nearly 200 MW in different stages of development.”