AEROWATT : 2008 results: meeting the 2008 EBITDA objective, confirming strategy and perspectives

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Building up solar
Continuing to develop wind
Meeting the 2008 EBITDA objective
Confirming strategy and perspectives

Saran, 23 March 2009 - 2008 saw many accomplishments, as Aérowatt, the French producer of renewable energy, accelerated its development in solar power all while continuing to build up its historic wind power segment. At the end of December, the company's total installed capacity (wind + solar), reached 72 MW, of which 64 MW on its own account, rising 22% in one year.

In solar power, Aérowatt has organized a department with 5 additional collaborators all while developing a network of partners (research departments, business development agents, etc.) The company has also secured its supply in photovoltaic panels for 2009 with two key partners, Apex BP Solar and Schüco. Over the course of 2008, installed capacity was doubled in size and reached, at the end of December, a total solar power of 2.8 MWp, of which 1MWp for its own account, across 17 sites.

At the same time, Aérowatt has continued its development of wind power by commencing operations at its Mont Mau (4.1 MW in New Caledonia) and La Perrière 3 (3.3 MW in Réunion) sites, which were installed in 2007, and by commissioning, at the end of 2008, the Saint Jean Lachalm site (12 MW in Haute-Loire), in which it holds a 66% share. At the end of 2008 the company had an available installed wind capacity of 69 MW, of which 63 MW on its own account.

2008 was also intensive in terms of new projects going into the concept or construction phase. Currently, with a secured portfolio of 424 MW on its own account in wind and 56.2 MWp in solar, Aérowatt has already reached 120% of its objective of 400 MW installed and held on its own account by the end of 2013, of which 350 MW in wind and 50 MWp in solar.

2008 results

In 2008, Aérowatt achieved a consolidated turnover of ¤7.6 million, made up of ¤7 million in energy sales and ¤0.6 million in service offerings, rising by 7.8%. The increased power in several power stations was partly counterbalanced by unfavorable exogenous elements (abnormal meteorological conditions in New Caledonia and delays in linking solar installations).

Inventory change and own work capitalized reached ¤5.5 million, rising by 80% over one year. It shows Aérowatt's strong acceleration in development and the rising power of solar which represented 30% of current production at the end of 2008.

The company's EBITDA(1) was ¤4.2 million (+12.5%) in keeping with the objective set in September 2008. Aérowatt thus proves its capacity to produce high margins while strongly investing in project development.

Net losses after minority interests were ¤1.5 million in 2008. This includes, aside from the financial result of -¤2.0 million, the share in net income of equity affiliates of -¤0.6 million and net write-back on amortization of goodwill of ¤0.2 million.

In 2008, Aérowatt generated an operating cash flow, net of WCR variation, of ¤2.2 million, positive for the second consecutive year and covering financing costs. This additional cash, as well as the net income from capital increase in September 2008 (¤6.7 million) and subsidies received (¤8.2 million), covered half of the large investment cash flows (¤33.2 million).

At the end of December, Aérowatt's net indebtedness reached ¤37.1 million, of which ¤8.5 million in project debt without recourse on the parent company, for stockholders' equity of ¤25.6 million. The ratio of net debt with recourse on Aérowatt / stockholders' equity and definitively acquired subsides (2) comes to 32%.

Principal elements of the consolidated profit and loss account (French standards)

In thousands of ¤ 2007 2008
Turnover 7,092 7,643
Inventory change and own work capitalized 3,045 5,477
EBITDA (1) 3,756 4,225
Operating profit 541 612
Financial result (1,042) (2,049)
Consolidated net earnings (743) (1,804)
Net earnings after minority interests (652) (1,468)

Strategy and perspectives

In difficult economic circumstances that translate into tightened financing conditions on certain projects, Aérowatt has some key advantages. Thanks to its ability to present quality projects that are clearly defined and reasonably sized, the group has not had, as of yet, any particular difficulties in accessing the credit market.

Concerning strengthening of its own funds, given the current state of the stock market, Aérowatt has decided, in the short term and in order to avoid slowing the rhythm of commissioning, to actively study alternative solutions. These are based on the entrance of minority partners to the capital of the power stations, with Aérowatt keeping financial and operational control of the projects. The Group has received signs of interest from investors to participate in its infrastructure.

This capacity to adapt to the financial context allows Aérowatt to confirm its strategy, based on developing and operating wind and solar power stations, and its operational and financial objectives on the short and medium term.

For the fiscal year 2009, Aérowatt is banking on an additional commissioned capacity of 38 MW, of which 21 MW on its own account, and on an EBITDA (1) of between ¤7 million and ¤9 million.

Jérôme Billerey, Chairman of the Management Board, says "I am very proud of the work that we have accomplished in 2008. We have built up our activities and our project portfolio, kept our financial commitment in terms of EBITDA and succeeded in our transfer onto Alternext in particularly difficult market conditions. 2009 promises to be complex for the entire economy. All the while, the dynamics of our market, and our capacity to find financing solutions thanks to the quality of our projects, allow us to maintain our strategy and stay the course for the years to come. Finally, the recent strengthening by our key shareholders of Aérowatt's capital is for us a large signal of confidence that allows us to work serenely and with long-term goals in mind."

About Aérowatt

An independent producer of power from renewable energy sources in Metropolitan France and overseas, Aérowatt is involved in every stage of the development of its wind and solar power stations, from identifying sites to selling electricity.

As of 31st December 2008, Aérowatt owns and operates 22 wind power stations producing 69 MW and 17 solar sites producing the equivalent of 2.8 MWc and has a portfolio of projects for 1,240 MW of wind energy and more than 110 MWc of solar energy. It has set itself the objective of achieving an installed capacity to produce 350 MW of wind energy and 50 MWc of solar energy by the end of 2013.
At the end of 2008, Aérowatt had 45 employees of which 20 are focused on project development.

A presentation relating to Aérowatt's strategy and its annual results
is available on the company's website (www.aerowatt.fr).


Next meeting: energy sales turnover for 1st trimester 2009,
Tuesday May 5 (premarket)

(1) EBITDA = operating income + depreciation on investments and other allowances - reprocessing of subsidies and fiscal aids + extraordinary result
(2) Definitively acquired subsidies correspond to the aid and subsidies allocated to Aérowatt in the framework of its investments in overseas territories.

Aérowatt Actus
Jérôme Billerey
aerowatt@aerowatt.fr
02 38 88 64 64
Press: Anne Catherine Bonjour
acbonjour@actus.fr
Investor relations: Jérôme Fabreguettes-Leib
jfl@actus.fr
01 53 67 36 36
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