Energy business Bord na Móna, which started selling peat and other fossil fuels, is diversifying into water and renewable energy to plug the gap in the long term.

In figures, released this week, for the year ending March 2011 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) were up by 12.6% to €72.7 million from €64.6 million the previous year.

Profits, for County Kildare in Ireland based business, after tax increased strongly by 23% to €12.9 million from €10.5 million, while turnover was €382 million, marginally down by 0.6% from €384 the year before.

This was the fifth year in a row in which profits increased and Bord na Móna Group chief executive, Gabriel D’Arcy, said a new focus on renewable energy and water would continue this trend.

Evidence of this is shown in the way the company has also made progress in developing its wind farm projects during the year.

Planning consent was won for developments at Mount Lucas, Co. Offaly (80 MW) and at Bruckana, Co. Tipperary (40 MW).

Grid connection offers have also been achieved for the farms under the Gate 3 process.

Mr D’Arcy said: “We want to strengthen and streamline our existing businesses and grow further by investing in new long-term sustainable opportunities such as renewable energy and water.

“We have made significant progress towards achieving these goals during the year, the company is in a new phase of diversification with a very clear focus on sustainability and innovation.”

However, while profits rose the average number of people employed in the group also fell from 2,136 to 2,122.

Luke Walsh

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