Ocean Power Technologies Inc. (OPTT)
F1Q10 Earnings Call
September 9, 2009; 10:00 am ET
Mark Draper - Chief Executive Officer
Charles Dunleavy - Chief Financial Officer
Previous Statements by OPTT
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Thank you. Good morning and welcome to Ocean Power Technologies audio webcast for the first quarter ended July 31, 2009. Today we issued our first quarter earnings press release and we will be filing our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Our public filings can be viewed on the SEC website at www.sec.gov, or you may go to our website, www.oceanpowertechnologies.com. I’ll be joined on today’s webcast by Mark Draper, our Chief Executive Officer. Please advance to the next slide, number two.
During the course of this conference call, management may make projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or financial performance of the company, within the meaning of the Safe Harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
As indicated in the slide, these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions made by management, regarding future circumstances over which the company may have little or no control and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. We refer you to the company’s Form 10-Q and other recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a description of these and other risk factors.
I’ll now turn the call over to Mark Draper, our Chief Executive Officer.
Moving to slide three; thank you Chuck and thanks to everyone who has joined us for today’s webcast. OPT started fiscal 2010 with strong operational and financial performance, achieving several successes this quarter. Firstly we achieved a gross profit of $0.3 million, compared to a gross loss for the same period last year and our contract order backlog remains strong at $6.4 million, up 70% compared with the prior year’s comparable quarter. Chuck will go through the financials in more detail shortly.
I’d like to take a few minutes to update you on the operational progress made during the quarter. A key milestone was the signing of the commitment agreement for the Wave Hub project in Cornwall, U.K., while also making significant progress of the manufacturing of our next generation PowerBuoy, the 150 kilowatt rated PB 150. We also advanced the construction of our Underwater Substation Pod, which is an important part of the complete solution we are developing for the delivery of full operational waveforms to our customers.
Finally, we strengthened our management team with the appointment of a new Chief Executive of our wholly-owned subsidiary, OPT Limited, based in Warwick, England. OPT also received industry recognition when our Executive Chairman and Founder, Dr. George Taylor was awarded the 2009 Renewable Energy Navigator Award by the foundation for Ocean Renewables. I would now like to discuss further some of these successes.
Turning to slide four; as OPT steps up its commercial activity, it is vital to continually improve our technical capability through the hiring of qualified personnel in the manufacturing, development and engineering functions. As of July 31, 2009, OPT has 59 employees, an increase of 12 employees over the same date last year.
As announced previously, we also strengthened our European leadership team with the appointment of Angus Norman as Chief Executive of Ocean Power Technologies Limited. Angus joined us from EDF Energy, where he held the position of Managing Director of Sustainable Solutions and brings more than a decade of leadership experience in the energy and renewable energy generation sector.
At EDF Energy, one of the UK’s largest energy companies providing power to a quarter of the population, Mr. Norman led the development of a new Sustainable Energy Services business, and had responsibility for its combined heat & power plants and business development team.
Prior to this, he was Managing Director of Generation at EDF Energy, with operational responsibility for its gas and coal powered generation with a 5000 megawatt capacity, as well as the renewable wind power assets. Mr. Norman was also responsible for EDF Energy’s initial investment in 2002 into Marine Current Turbines, a [Cornwall] energy company and was a board director there until 2005.
The strength of OPT’s personnel, as well as the company’s contribution to the wave power industry was recognized by the Foundation for Ocean Renewables, in awarding Dr. George W. Taylor the 2009 Renewable Energy Navigator Award. This prestigious award was presented to Dr. Taylor at the Second Annual Global Marine Renewable Energy Conference held at the Carnegie Institute for Science in Washington DC. The honor was given in recognition of Dr. Taylor’s service in promoting responsible commercialization of marine renewable energy.
Dr. Taylor is recognized as one of the world’s pioneers and leaders in the development and establishment of wave energy technology for his work over the past 25 years. He co-founded Ocean Power Technologies Inc., and under his leadership OPT has become one of the world’s major wave power companies. Our technology is supported by a strong patent portfolio. At the end of the period OPT owned a total of 40 issued US patents, with 16 US patent applications pending.