Falling profits

Ceramic Fuel Cells has posted a loss of £21.1m following impairment charges on a number of its financial investments.

The Australian company, which also has operations in the UK, France and Germany, said that the loss was an increase of £9.2m on the previous year.

Despite falling profits, business revenue rose by 172 per cent to £840,000 following the development of semi-integrated micro combined and power (m-CHP) units for a number of its core clients.

Interest and other income was £2.4m compared to £1.56m a year earlier, while research and product development activities represented a net reduction of 19.9 per cent from last year. According to the group, the main reasons for the cost reductions were the construction of 12 NetGen Plus units for field trials and design work a fuel-cell plant in Germany.

The company’s core technology involves the conversion of natural gas into electricity through ceramic fuel cells. This has so far achieved a 60 per cent electrical efficiency rating, which the group claims is the highest electrical efficiency ever achieved from a system that converts hydrocarbon fuels into electricity.

The group is now involved in the development of a modular co-generation product called BlueGen, which it believes will partially offset its losses. It added that it has also increased its expenditure on a Gennex fuel-cell module and has expanded work with appliance partners to develop the integrated m-CHP units.

In the year ahead, the company said that it will continue progress in its transition from a company researching and developing technology to a company earning revenue from making and selling products. The group is hopeful about positive sales and plans to focus its efforts on achieving a ‘cashflow breakeven’ position.