Innovation is Key

Long-time readers of this column know of my affinity for the alternative energy sector. This new industry represents the future of the economy and there are some great companies out there in which to invest.

One super small company that really has some great products is Carmanah Technologies Corp. (TSX/CMH). This small Canadian company trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and makes all kinds of solar-powered products.

Based in Victoria, British Columbia, the company considers itself a world leader in the design, manufacture and supply of patented, proprietary, solar-powered LED lighting solutions. The company’s products are completely self-contained and are designed to be used virtually anywhere on earth for applications that require reliable safety, navigation, or hazard marker lighting.

The company’s solar-powered LED lights are designed to be extremely rugged and to withstand extreme environmental conditions with zero maintenance. Some models do not require battery replacement, no bulb replacement, and no servicing during the term of their installation (up to five years, depending on location). Some of Carmanah’s lighting products are engineered to survive extended exposure to salt, water, and air, extreme temperature swings (from -40° C /-40° F to +80° C /176° F), shock, heavy vibration, and UV degradation.

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According to the company, its fiscal 2005 revenues (all figures are reported in Canadian dollars) grew 144% to $38.73 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA) were $1.98 million in 2005, representing a 92% gain over EBITA of $1.03 million generated in 2004. Net earnings for the year grew 15% to $680,962.

Carmanah recently opened a new state-of-the-art, 30,000 sq. ft. global production facility in Victoria and the company just unveiled what it calls the world’s most versatile solar-powered LED airfield light for permanent, temporary and emergency applications.

Innovation is a key corporate value at Carmanah and it’s likely that this company will be successful for many years to come.