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Camco generates first profit

CLEAN-ENERGY project developer Camco International Ltd posted a profit for the first time as revenue from its carbon business rose, and said it expected "recurring, sustainable cashflows" from carbon offset deliveries in 2009.

Camco made 2.2 million euros (US$2.97 million) in pretax profits in the year to December 2008 compared with a loss of 12.2 million euros a year earlier, it said yesterday.

Last month, Camco had postponed publishing its full-year results due to accounting discrepancies.

It said profits this year would come mainly from its operations in China and Russia, and that it would continue to seek acquisitions.

"While 2009 will be a challenging year, our healthy cash position and global platform mean that Camco is well placed to move beyond the current adverse impact on climate change businesses," Chief Executive Officer Jeff Kenna said in a statement.

Camco invests in clean energy projects, registering them with the United Nations under a Kyoto Protocol scheme that awards carbon offset credits for cutting greenhouse gases. The company also invests in projects under an unregulated, voluntary offset market.

Camco's risk-adjusted registered offset portfolio grew to 46 million at the end of March, up from 40.4 million in December, with an average purchase price of 7.92 euros per tonne compared to 8.06 euros at the end of 2008.

Camco has received 5.6 million offsets to date.

Camco ended 2008 with a cash balance of 27 million euros, which Mirabaud analyst Gus Hochschild said valued the company at 13 pence (19 US cents) per share.

KBC Peel Hunt analyst Andrew Shepherd-Barron, who upgraded Camco stock to "buy" from "hold" yesterday, said the cash pile was enough to fund the business for two years "in a carbon price environment of 8 euros or less."

Any release of cash from other assets would extend this period, he said.

Revenue rose to 41.5 million euros from 10.4 million euros. Camco's carbon business generated a revenue of 31.3 million euros, up from 2.9 million euros in 2007.


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