Bord na Móna has reported a record operating profit of €95 million for the year to the end of March.
The “best performance” in the semi-State’s 90-year history was driven by increased revenue from its growing portfolio of renewable energy projects, which include the large Cloncreen and Oweninny wind farms in Offaly and Galway.
Bord na Móna, which used to drain the Irish bogs to extract peat, has morphed into a renewable energy business with wind and biomass assets dotted across the midlands, a process it refers to as its “brown to green strategy”. It recently began the construction of a solar farm in Timahoe North in Co Kildare.
With the cost of energy on wholesale markets still elevated, renewable energy companies have been able to make big profits. The company’s €95.2 million operating profit was up from €78.9 million the previous year.
Earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation, including contributions from joint ventures, was €139 million, up from €121 million the previous year and €61 million previous to that.
“In recognition of the extraordinary energy market conditions which prevailed in FY23,” Bord na Móna declared a one-off enhanced dividend of €37.8 million for the exchequer, representing 37.5 per cent of adjusted profit after tax.
Highlighting its investment strategy, the company said it had made significant progress in the past 12 months with €100 million invested in the expansion of its renewable energy portfolio.
Wind energy milestones included the construction of Cloncreen and Oweninny wind farms and the commencement of work at Derrinlough wind farm, representing an overall investment of €250 million. The company said Cloncreen and Oweninny collectively delivered an additional 175 megawatts of electricity in the past 12 months.
Bord na Móna also launched a joint venture with Ocean Winds to develop its first offshore wind farms. The venture aims to generate up to 2.3 gigawatts of renewable electricity to power up to 2.1 million homes.
The company has also advanced its hydrogen-ready and solar operations this year. It has secured planning permission to launch a 2 megawatt pilot-scale hydrogen electrolysis plant at Mount Lucas, Co Offaly,.
“The financial performance achieved by Bord na Móna over the past 12 months places the company in a strong position to invest further in the expansion of our renewable energy and climate solutions portfolio,” chief executive Tom Donnellan said. “Our year-on-year growth also establishes a solid financial platform for the company to deliver on our 10-year plan and support the State in achieving its renewable energy requirements by 2030 and longer-term objective of carbon neutrality by 2050,” he added.