Losses at Bórd na Móna more than halved last year to €22.5m

The State company also managed to eliminate debt, clearing almost €24m in liabilities during the year

Bord na Móna has warned that it continues to operate in a “challenging business environment” complicated by Covid-19. Photograph: Getty Images

Bord na Móna has warned that it continues to operate in a “challenging business environment” complicated by Covid-19. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Losses at Bórd na Móna more than halved last year to €22.5 million, the State company’s annual report will show when it is published on Wednesday.

The company, which is moving out of its original business of peat-production into energy, waste-recycling and other activities, is due to publish figures for the 12 months to March 25th, 2020.

Bord na Móna chief executive, Tom Donnellan confirmed that the company ended its 2020 financial year with a €22.5 million loss, less than half the €54 million recorded 12 months earlier.

The company also managed to eliminate debt, clearing almost €24 million in liabilities during the year, leaving it with a “positive cash position” of €1 million.

Bord na Móna’s losses stem mainly from €66 million in costs resulting from the company’s move out of peat-production and into other businesses.

Before accounting for these expenses, its annual report will show that its ongoing operations earned a profit of €40.4 million in the period, in line with the previous financial year.

Mr Donnellan acknowledged that the shift from peat-production had resulted in a number of costs that were reflected in the company’s losses for the 2020 financial year. However, he argued that Bord na Móna’s stable operating profit and reduced debt showed that the State company remained financially stable.

During the year the first 29 turbines at Owneninny wind farm in Co Mayo, a joint venture with fellow State company ESB, began generating electricity.

Oweninny’s first phase produces 93 mega watts (MW) of electricity at full capacity. When the second and final stage is complete the power plant will generate 172 MW, enough to supply around 100,000 homes.

Extra customers

Bord na Móna’s waste-collection business recruited extra customers during the financial year.

The company opened Ireland’s only farm plastics recycling plant at the site of the old peat briquette factory in Littleton, Co Tipperary.

Bord na Móna warned that it continued to operate in a “challenging business environment” complicated by Covid-19.

However, a statement added that it expected increased profits and growth for its new businesses in the current financial year.

Commenting on the results, chairman Geoff Meagher said the results showed Bord na Móna was beginning “a new chapter in its existence”.