Bord na Móna Goes Green
Irish state-owned company Bord na Móna, lost almost €50 million in the 12 months to the end of March, figures published recently showed.
Ireland’s Bord na Móna Moves into Recycling
The news comes following planners’ refusal to allow the redevelopment of an electricity plant at Shannonbridge, Co Offaly, in a move that could hit jobs at Bord na Móna, as a supplier to the power station.
Bord na Móna was established to exploit the Republic’s peat bogs, and sales fell by almost 4 per cent to €380.4 million from €395 million in its last financial year,.
Bord na Móna lost €49.9 million after spending €91.4 million on voluntary redundancies, investing in new businesses and other measures such as closing its coal supply operation.
The company is moving into new businesses, such as recycling and generating electricity, to replace the loss of peat harvesting and processing, which it has to wind down in the coming years.
Management has dubbed this shift its “brown to green” strategy.
Accounts included in its annual report show that Bord na Móna’s ongoing businesses earned operating profits of €41.3 million before calculating for the cost of restructuring. It also cut net debt by €53.2 million to €22.9 million, a reduction of 70 per cent.
During its last financial year, Bord na Móna cut peat harvesting by 50 per cent. It had rehabilitated 15,000 hectares of peatland by March 31st.
The company opened a new plastics recycling factory at its old peat briquette manufacturing plant in Co Tipperary, creating 40 jobs.
It also launched its first tyre recycling facility, which added another 40 new posts.
Chief executive Tom Donnellan maintained that Bord na Móna’s underlying performance had been sound.
He said that the State company’s new investments focused on new businesses with the potential to create substantial new employment over the next 10 years.
“Crucially, we are carrying out this investment on a more secure financial platform as we report reductions in our cost base, a 24 per cent increase in our operating profit and a 70 per cent fall in our debt,” he added.
“This has been a challenging year for everyone in the company, as we lay the foundation for a new Bord na Móna.”