March 29, 2011 / 11:26 AM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 3-Arise Tech gains as Ontario market brightens up

* Q4 loss C$0.01/shr vs year-ago loss C$0.06/shr

* Sales up 72 pct

* Operating expenses fall 37 pct

* Says significant financing issues still need to be addressed

* Shares rise 10 pct (Recasts, adds details from conference call, updates share movement)

March 29 (Reuters) - Canadian solar technology company Arise Technologies Corp said a lucrative programme for renewable energy in Ontario boosted demand and helped it post a narrower quarterly loss, sending its shares up 10 percent.

Green energy companies like Arise have benefitted from the launch of an European-style feed-in tariff programme late in 2009 that offered above market rates for electricity produced from solar, wind and other renewable sources.

Arise, which makes photovoltaic (PV) cells and operates in Germany and Canada, said shipments of PV cells rose nearly four-fold to 58.3 megawatt in 2010.

The company, whose customers are mainly PV cells module manufacturers, got a firm foothold in the Ontario market through its systems division, Chief Executive Dan Shea said on a conference call.

The systems division provides PVC solutions for solar farms and rooftop installations throughout North America. Sales from the unit jumped 625 percent to C$4.9 million in 2010.

Arise shares were up at 15.5 Canadian cents on Tuesday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange. They earlier touched a high of 16 Canadian cents.

FINANCING WORRIES

Arise, however, still has some significant financing issues to address.

“Since our last conference call, we have been involved in negotiations with our German banker, Commerzbank AG , to extend our credit facilities,” the CEO said.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said it completed a C$12.5 million equity financing in the quarter to fund the purchase of equipment for a third production line, which is expected to raise its capacity to 145 megawatt per year.

“In order to move forward with this project, we need to meet certain financing requirements and secure an extension to our facilities with Commerzbank AG,” CEO Shea said in a statement.

Arise, which had plans of doubling production at its photovoltaic cell facility in Germany, owed Commerzbank AG about 20 million euros ($28.3 million) at the end of last year.

According to an agreement with Commerzbank, if Arise failed to meet the conditions, the bank had the right to sell off the company’s German production plant. [ID:nL3E7E11V7]

Arise had to secure funds by Feb. 28 to get the loan extended till end-2011, but failed to meet the requirements set by the bank.

“We are working to secure additional funding from various other sources,” Shea said.

Q4 LOSS NARROWS

In the fourth quarter, Arise posted a net loss of C$2.0 million, or 1 Canadian cent a share, compared with a net loss of C$7.5 million, or 6 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.

Sales jumped 72 percent to C$19.4 million.

Operating expenses in the quarter were C$3.2 million, down from C$5.1 million last year.

Demand for solar modules in Germany, the world’s biggest solar market, was weak at the end of last year and early this year due to bad weather conditions in Europe, the company said.

Arise, which was scheduled to report its quarterly results on March 25, pushed it back by four days as it did not provided all docket documentation necessary for those to be reviewed by its auditors. ($1 = 0.707 Euros) (Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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