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IdaTech issues trading update for 2009, announces new fuel cell contract win

IdaTech, a leading developer and manufacturer of fuel cell products for critical backup power markets, has issued a trading update for 2009. The company sold a total of 445 fuel cell systems during 2009, and achieved revenues of US$6.6 million. IdaTech also received an order for 108 fuel cell systems at the end of 2009, for delivery and deployment in the first quarter of 2010.

During 2009, IdaTech delivered proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system sales volumes ahead of market expectations, despite the extremely difficult year for businesses globally. Overall IdaTech sold 445 fuel cell systems during 2009, more than five times the number of units sold in 2008.

Revenue for the year was $6.6 million, an increase of c.12% on the $5.9 million achieved in 2008. Revenue from product sales almost doubled, rising from $2.4 million to $4.5 million. The sales mix in the year compared with 2008 was more heavily skewed towards direct hydrogen systems, which have lower selling prices than systems with fuel reformers.

This was a result of two factors: the economic downturn, resulting in IdaTech’s customers utilizing certain government subsidies which currently favor direct hydrogen fueled systems; and the sale of 300 ElectraGen™ H2-I systems in India to ACME TelePower, the Indian telecoms supplier.

The loss before tax on ordinary activities from continuing operations and the cash burn will also be better than market expectations. IdaTech will announce its preliminary results for the year ended December 31, 2009 at the end of March 2010.

During 2009, IdaTech focused its development resources on the next-generation methanol/water fueled system and the natural gas fueled system. Once completed, both fuel cell systems will demonstrate step changes in performance and in cost reduction, positioning IdaTech to address a significantly increased portion of the critical power backup markets worldwide.

As a result of this focus, IdaTech will devote its development effort to the 1–5 kW power output fuel cell product range. A non-cash impairment charge of $2.7 million (after tax) in the carrying value of the intangible assets will be recorded, reflecting the shift away from the commercial development of the smaller 250 W product line. The valuation of the core technology of the business remains intact.

IdaTech also completed two development contracts during 2009. The most significant related to the advanced development of its proprietary metal membrane hydrogen purification technology, Hypurium™, for large-scale industrial applications.

Meanwhile, at the end of 2009 IdaTech received an order for 108 systems, for delivery and deployment in the first quarter of 2010. This positions IdaTech for 2010 with a backlog of nearly one-quarter of the 2010 full-year market expectations.

IdaTech’s portfolio of certified fuel cell products are based on its fuel processing, purification, and fuel cell system integration capabilities. With the support of strategic partners and customers, the company’s extended run backup power products are being deployed worldwide for stationary applications.

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