Theolia reverses its strategy

French alternative energy firm Theolia has reversed a strategy announced this year to keep more wind capacity.

In order to increase internal cash generation to finance future growth, Theolia has decided to sell wind farms in Germany and is evaluating the possibility of selling wind other countries as well. This represents a reversal of the build and hold strategy announced on September 3, 2008. The management intends to finalise the strategy review later this year with the objective include all relevant changes in its operating budget for 2009.

According to Reuters, the firm, which reported flat nine-month sales of 85.1 million euros ($107.6 million) versus 83.48 million a year ago, said it was selling German wind farms for 81 million euros to Meinl International Power Ltd.

In September, Theolia announced a strategy to retain and operate wind-power installations to benefit from higher demand for electricity from renewable-energy sources. The shares have since tumbled on concern that the company won't be able to finance debt as it seeks cash to build and run more wind parks.

"Given the ongoing restructuring and potential large impact of one-offs, the company is not in a position to confirm its earlier 2008" target for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, Theolia said. "The earlier stated 2009-2011 megawatt targets cannot be maintained in the current financial environment."

In September, Theolia cut its 2008 EBITDA outlook to "a minimum" of 20 million euros from an earlier forecast of 55 million to 65 million euros, saying it would sell less wind capacity.