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France

France

Theolia reduces losses and recovers some ground

FRANCE: Troubled French wind developer and operator Theolia has reduced its net losses from EUR245 million in 2008 to EUR21.1 million in 2009, but the group still needs to raise at least EUR45 million to survive.

Theolia experienced a sharp increase in revenues last year and cut its net debt from EUR498 million to EUR396 million.

"We are on the road to recovery," declared new chief executive Eric Peugeot on presenting the group's annual results in April.

Consolidated revenues totalled EUR329 million at the end of 2009, compared to EUR70 million the previous year, thanks to the reactivation of its policy to sell wind power plants. The group recorded sales of 234MW in Germany and France in 2009 for a total of EUR236 million.

At the same time, earnings from sales of electricity fell slightly because of poor wind conditions in Europe coupled with the sale of wind assets. As of March 31, Theolia's installed capacity stood at 782MW - 319MW of its own and 463MW it manages for third parties. It also has a development pipeline of 1.9GW, including 1.7GW in Europe.

But the group is not out of the woods yet. In order to survive, Theolia needs to raise at least EUR45 million through a capital increase planned for June or July. Nevertheless, Peugeot says he is "reasonably confident" of the rights offer hitting the upper target of EUR100 million.

This is the final stage in a plan to restructure the group's debt, including a partial debt write-off and improved terms to encourage holders of its Oceane convertible bonds to convert to shares (Windpowermonthly.com, March 24, 2010).

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