Saudi Arabia, Canada to hold renewable energy seminar

Updated 28 October 2014
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Saudi Arabia, Canada to hold renewable energy seminar

A Canadian trade delegation, headed by Canada’s Deputy Minister of International Trade Simon Kennedy arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday to meet several Saudi officials and major firms with a special focus on renewable energy in Saudi Arabia.
Canadian Ambassador Thomas MacDonald said Canada’s first renewable energy mission, which is focused on solar technology, will visit the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), ACWA Power and other industry leaders.
The envoy said Kennedy and the chairman of the Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA) will host a business seminar for the mission Wednesday at the Al Mashreq Boutique Hotel to introduce Canadian companies to Saudi partners for renewable energy projects in the Kingdom and elsewhere in the Middle East.
According to him, the visit comes amid recent reports that KACARE received a request from SEC for the establishment of solar energy plants in Qaisumah, Rafha, Wadi Al-Duwasir, Mahd Al-Dhahab and Shororah, and a report that ACWA Power is seeking to secure or arranging financing for $7.4 billion worth of renewable energy projects.
He stated that there will be a commercial signing ceremony during this visit. The Canadian delegation includes SkyPower, which concluded a joint venture — Fawaz Alhokair (FAS) Energy. In May 2014, the joint venture announced a five-year, $5-billion deal to build solar projects in Nigeria.
Canadian Solar, a supplier of 1.78 megawatts of solar photovoltaic panels to Saudi Aramco for the Kingdom’s largest ground-mounted solar installation at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies Research Center also is part of the delegation. In addition, QD Solar, Silfab, Morgan Solar and Jeco Power and AESP-Green Energy are manufacturers and developers of leading energy-saving LED (light-emitting diode) lighting systems.
MacDonald said renewable sources generate up to 65 percent of Canada’s electricity. Solar and wind are the country’s two fastest growing sources.
According to him, Solar photovoltaic capacity reached 1,210 megawatts of cumulative installed capacity in 2013. The Canadian Solar Industry Association forecasts that annual capacity will increase three folds by 2025. By then, the Canadian solar industry will support more than 35,000 jobs, displacing 15 to 31 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Canada has two of the largest solar farms in the world — the Arnprior and Enbridge solar farms, both located in Ontario, Canada’s largest province. Total private investment in Ontario’s photovoltaic installations is $12.9 billion.
Ontario phased out coal-fired generators in April 2014 — North America’s largest single climate change initiative.
Between 2003 and 2012, Canada registered an estimated 233 patents in photovoltaic technology with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
“Thanks to Canada's generous R&D tax credits, the after tax cost of $100 in R&D expenditure is closer to $50, making Canada a partner of choice for developing renewable energy products,” he added.


Online fashion retailer Boohoo’s sales almost double

Updated 25 April 2018
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Online fashion retailer Boohoo’s sales almost double

LONDON: British online fast-fashion retailer Boohoo beat forecasts with a 40 percent jump in annual profit and an almost doubling of revenue as its mainly younger customers snapped up its budget-friendly designs.
The company, which imitates the latest fashions and sells them at “pocket money” prices to mainly twentysomethings, said it had made a strong start to this year, sending its shares as much as 18 percent higher.
Its robust performance and that of bigger online peer ASOS highlights how the Internet is reshaping the British retail landscape and the clothing sector in particular.
“Against a backdrop of difficult trading in the UK clothing sector, the group continued to perform well, gaining market share in the expanding online sector,” said joint chief executives Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane.
Founded in Manchester, northern England, in 2006, Boohoo has expanded rapidly, purchasing the PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal brands at the beginning of last year.
The pure Internet players are bucking a challenging backdrop for UK consumers, outflanking and taking market share from traditional rivals burdened with big store estates.
Last week the 240-year old Debenhams department store chain reported a 52 percent slump in first-half profit and warned on the full-year outlook for the second time in four months.
In stark contrast, Boohoo raised sales and profit guidance four times in 2017-18.
The company made a pretax profit of £43.3 million pounds in the year to February 28, up from £30.9 million a year earlier and topping the £39.4 million expected by analysts, according to Reuters data. Revenue soared 97 percent to £579.8 million, ahead of company guidance.
The stock has come off from 273 pence in June last year, on concerns profit growth will be held back by a step-up in investment.
However, Boohoo said on Wednesday it could invest more in systems, technology, warehouses, distribution and marketing, while still delivering substantial sales and profit growth.
Capital expenditure in 2018-19 would be £50 million- £60 million. Revenue growth was forecast at 35-40 percent, with a profit (EBITDA) margin of 9-10 percent.
Looking beyond 2018-19 it forecast sales growth of “at least” 25 percent, whilst maintaining a 10 percent EBITDA margin.
“Critically, fears of a ‘margin reset’ have not been realized,” said analysts at Peel Hunt, reiterating their “buy” recommendation.
“Changes to distribution plans means the next move is likely to be overseas,” they said.