Photon Energy update after ‘difficult’ quarter


Dutch renewables company Photon Energy has said it is still mulling moves into the markets of central and South America, the Middle East and Africa–as well as new territories in central Europe–despite a “difficult fourth quarter” which capped a Covid-19-affected year.

Publishing its fourth-quarter results this month, Amsterdam-headquartered Photon said its immediate focus would continue to be its core business in Australia and Hungary and its new ventures into Poland and Romania, but the company was still investigating other global opportunities.

Photon was keen to tout the commissioning of 10 solar projects in Hungary with a total generation capacity of 14 MWp but published results which showed a 34% fall in revenue from the €7.75 million banked in the fourth quarter of a Covid-free 2019, to €5.1 million in the corresponding period of last year.

That widened losses from continuing operations from €2.62 million in October-to-December 2019 to €4.36 million in the final quarter of 2020. The company cited lower sale-of-technology revenue which was only partly mitigated by a rise in revenues from Photon's now-74.7 MWp solar plant portfolio.

The figures were in line with a Covid-driven 6.3% annual fall in full-year revenue to €28.26 million, on the back of a 27.8% fall in technology sales.

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Refinancing requirements of a growing Australian operation saw bank borrowings rise as Photon's non-current liabilities rose from the €88 million posted at the end of 2019 to €105 million a year later, although the board stressed that was in line with the debt-driven nature of the project development business.

Photon, which claims to be developing 595 MWp in Australia–14.6 MWp of which is under construction–has an operational portfolio ranging in scale from the 137 kWp Břeclav rooftop installed in Czechia in December 2010 to the 2.35 MWp Komorovice array added in the same month in the same territory.

The company claims a 97 MWp development pipeline in Hungary, 105 MWp of projects under development in Romania and 25 MWp in Poland. Photon also claims to have a 249 MWp operations and maintenance (O&M) fleet comprised of 135 MWp in Czechia, 77 MWp in Hungary–swelled by the new additions to secure a 15.7% rise in overall O&M scale–15 MWp each in Slovakia and Romania, and 4.5 MWp in Australia.

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