Vincent Micallef / ClearFlowPlus

Chairman and Non-Executive Director Vincent Micallef has pointed towards the issuance of the first local green bonds as the start of an “exciting phase” in ClearFlowPlus plc’s journey.

ClearFlowPlus is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Water Services Corporation (WSC), providing consultancy services and supplies, laboratory analysis and IT services tied to water production, filtration, and treatment of sewage treatment products and facilities.

Last year, the company underwent a number of significant changes to its operations, particularly tied to its green bond issue back in July, the first in Malta. The €25 million bond issue, used to finance upgrades to various parts of Malta’s water production and distribution infrastructure, as well as install photovoltaic panels, was fully subscribed within a matter of hours. This prompted it to reposition itself as a finance company, while also simultaneously streamline its revenue streams.

Dr Micallef’s comments were made in the company’s Annual Report for the financial year ended 31st December 2023, published on Wednesday.

In his introduction to the report, Dr Micallef remarked that 2023 represented a “significant milestone” in ClearFlowPlus’s journey, having undertaken a strategic transformation that positions the company as a “pioneer in the realm of sustainable finance.”

Referring to the shift to a finance company, he stated that this change is rooted in ClearFlowPlus’s “unwavering commitment to sustainability,” adding that this now stands “at the core” of all its operations.

“By streamlining our activities, we ensure that every aspect of our business is aligned with the principles of environmental stewardship and sustainability. This strategic pivot is not merely a response to the growing demand for green practices; it is a forward-looking move to place ourselves at the forefront of a sustainable future,” Dr Micallef continued.

He added that the issuance of the green bonds was “a pivotal element” in the company’s transformation. “This venture into the green finance arena is a testament to our innovative spirit and our dedication to sustainability,” Dr Micallef added.

The proceeds from the bonds were advanced to the parent company, WSC, in order to fund projects that are “green at their core,” hence directly contributing to environmental sustainability, he remarked.

“It is with pride to report that the bond issue was fully subscribed in a matter of hours, showing an astounding investor confidence from 1,600 retail investors,” he revealed.

In the report, it was revealed that the company’s revenue dropped from €2.1 million in 2022 to €2 million in 2023, as it streamlined its revenue streams to its core operations revolving around sustainability. Similarly, cost of sales also decreased. On the other hand, administrative expenses increased to €425,269. Despite the wide array of changes, the company remained profitable, with pre-tax profit sitting at €945,487 in 2023, 15.3 per cent lower than the €1.1 million recorded in 2022.

Total assets as at the end of 2023 stood at €28.7 million. The Board of Directors did not recommend the payment of a dividend, with retained earnings, amounting to €2.3 million, being carried forward to the following year.

Dr Micallef said that he is “filled with optimism” about the company’s future, adding that the transformation into a finance vehicle focused on sustainability, “marks the beginning of an exciting phase” in its journey.

“We are not just responding to the call for sustainability; we are leading the change, demonstrating that financial success and environmental stewardship can go hand in hand,” he concluded.

Social image: ClearFlowPlus plc

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ClearFlowPlus plc Chairman and Non-Executive Director Vincent Micallef / ClearFlowPlus plc

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