April 28, 2005  -  

Carmanah Technologies Corp. is going after new markets for its solar-powered LED lighting units, and some analysts expect the small company to see revenue growth of 50% to 66% in 2005.

Victoria-based Carmanah, which is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, designs and produces energy-efficient lights for marine, aviation and roadside applications. The units combine light-emitting diodes, small solar panels and lead-acid batteries.

The company says its rugged units are cost-competitive, since they use no fuel and don’t need maintenance over their average five-year lifespan. About 70% of the 100,000 units installed to date are in the marine market, where they’re used as marking lights to aid navigation. But potentially bigger markets exist for transit products — lighting for bus shelters — and roadway lights and beacons, where brighter lights and better visibility mean fewer accidents, director Mark Komonoski said. The roadway market offers the greatest opportunities, while near-term news should come from the transit-lighting segment, he added. The company has announced new transit contracts with municipalities in recent months.

Carmanah reported 2004 net income of $593,000, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $15.9-million, a 72% increase from 2003 sales. The company said it was hurt last year by the rising Canadian dollar.