Company

Carmanah posts $1.3-million profit; Solar lighting producer has shed assets and cut staff

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Calling itself a lean company with plenty of cash, no debt and a "bright light" going forward, Carmanah Technologies Corp. has reported a $1.3- million profit on revenues of $60.6 million for 2008.

The solar marine and aviation light producer shed non-core business units, trimmed staff and outsourced its manufacturing and is now on a profitable footing, chief executive Ted Lattimore said yesterday.

"We know where we're going and have the technology and lean infrastructure to get us there, Lattimore said in a statement.

"Even during a recession, security and safety remain paramount ... industries require reliable and affordable lights and power."

Carmanah's year-end balance sheet contained a $10.7-million writedown of goodwill and intangible assets due to market conditions, resulting in lower shareholder equity balances but not affecting cash flow or liquidity. The non-cash impairment was related to excess inventory and goodwill from previous acquisitions.

Excluding the writedown, last year's net income of $1.3 million compared to a loss of $6.9 million in 2007.

Carmanah posted a 40 per cent increase in sales of its core products -- LED lights and beacons and solar power systems -- to $34.1 million. Sales in other Carmanah units declined 24 per cent to $26.5 million.

Carmanah chief financial officer Roland Sartorius said the company's cash position grew from a $2 million loss a year ago to $8 million in the bank and no debt.

"Although current market conditions have necessitated the writedown of goodwill, these non-cash charges do not impact current or future operations but solidify our balance sheet even further. Overall we're in great shape for the year ahead," said Sartorius.

Carmanah shares (TSX:CMH) increased a penny to 61 cents yesterday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.