Itron CEO says its losses eclipsed by record revenue

Liberty Lake-based Itron Inc. Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $54.6 million and a fiscal 2011 loss of $510.2 million, compared with 2010’s fourth-quarter profit of $26.6 million and full-year profit of $104.8 million.

CEO LeRoy Nosbaum noted that the company booked record fourth-quarter revenue of $642 million versus 2010’s $620.6 million, plus total 2011 revenue of $2.4 billion compared with $2.3 billion from the year before. The company produces equipment and provides software services for electric, gas and water utilities.

The bottom line, Nosbaum said in a telephone call, was hurt by a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $585 million recorded during the year, which amounted to $14.40 per share. Profitability was also hurt by restructuring charges and a warranty charge, he added.

“Our core operating results across electric, gas and water continue to be strong and we are focused on building a platform and infrastructure to support long-term growth and improved profitability,” Nosbaum said.

The increase in revenue for the quarter was due to increased sales of its advanced OpenWay meters, the company reported. The gain in yearly sales was primarily due to increased electric, gas and water smart-metering projects in the global market.

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