Spokane Journal of Business

Itron expands work with Brazilian utility

Meantime, earnings rise during Q4, fall for full year

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Liberty Lake-based Itron Inc. says RGE, a Brazil-based subsidiary of CPFL Energia, will expand its Itron GenX network to the utility’s commercial and industrial customers.

Operating in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil, RGE serves nearly 3.6 million consumers. The utility plans to extend its existing GenX network to focus on applying automated processes to improve operational efficiency.

The network extension and automated processes are designed to help improve service quality managing service outages and restoration by quickly and effectively, Itron says in a February 28 press release. Additionally, Itron’s GenX network can be applied to future distribution automation planned for the utility.

This new contract builds on Itron’s collaboration with RGE to complete its GenX infrastructure modernization initiative, a multi-phase project that was designed to improve grid reliability, speed up response time, optimize on-site operations, and protect group revenues. 

For the first phase of the project, Itron deployed its GenX network for commercial and industrial customers in the states of Sao Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul.

The second phase of the company’s infrastructure modernization initiative is already providing benefits to the utility’s customers and will “...ensure process standardization and quality of service for all customers,” says Caius Malagoli, engineering director at CPFL Energia, in an Itron press release.

Itron also has announced its fourth quarter and full year 2018 financial results. The company reported fourth quarter net income of $23.9 million, or 60 per diluted share, compared with net income of $1.8 million, or 5 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter. The company attributed the increase to favorable tax benefits. 

Fourth-quarter revenue increased to $587 million, up from $550 million for the same period in 2017.

For all of 2018, however, Itron reported a loss of $99.3 million, or $2.53 per share, on revenues of $2.4 billion in 2018, compared to net income of $57.3 million, or $1.45 per share on revenue of $2 billion in 2017. The company didn’t address the reason for the annual loss in its earnings report, other than a statement from company President and CEO Philip Mezey referring to “some challenges” during 2018.

The company reported the increase in revenue was driven primarily by growth in its networking business, both organically and from its $830 million acquisition of Silver Spring Networks, of San Jose, Calif., last year. 

Itron’s financial report lists anticipated revenue in the $2.35 billion to $2.45 billion range this year.

LeAnn Bjerken
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Reporter LeAnn Bjerken covers health care at the Journal of Business. A Minnesota native and cat lover, she enjoys beachside vacations and writing poetry. LeAnn has worked for the Journal since 2015.

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