Utility firm pulls out of smart meters as it seeks return to profit
Fulcrum Utility Services said it is pulling out of the smart metering market as it confirms its previous prediction of £3.3m annual loss.
The Sheffield-based firm told the London Stock Market in a trading update this morning that a strategic review of operations had shown smart meters were no longer attractive due to increased volatility in the UK energy market.
It has also increased a £6m loan announced in December to £11m, payable by 1 November this year, with an option for lenders Bayford and Harwood to convert to shares.
The firm said the review had identified several other opportunities and operational improvements, including a new sales strategy. It had formed a new, leaner senior leadership team to fulfill its objectives. Interim chief executive Lindsay Austin will continue in her role for another 6 months to oversee the ongoing review.
Company chair Jennifer Babington said, “The board and I are pleased to confirm that the Group’s full year performance will be in line with expectations. Turning the Group’s performance around is an ongoing and challenging task, but we are making positive progress as we implement a clear strategy that puts the Group on a path back to profitability.
“We are also pleased to confirm the continued support from our major shareholders as we execute our plans and move the business forward. Again, we view this as a clear indication of their confidence in Fulcrum and its return to profitability.
“The group’s future is also supported by medium to long-term market fundamentals, which remain strong. This, coupled with the improvements we are implementing, means that the group continues to be ever better positioned to capitalise on the long-term opportunities presented by the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy.”