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At Plug Power: Hoping for a strong 2013

Total revenue and expenses were down at Plug Power in the first quarter of the year compared to one year ago, while company leaders continue to hold out hope for a strong 2013.

The Latham-based manufacturer of fuel cells reported operating losses of $6.4 million in the first three months of the year, compared to $7.8 million in the first quarter of 2012.

Total revenue was also down, from $7.8 million last year to $6.4 million this year. Of this, revenue from product and services was $6 million compared to last year's $7.2 million and revenue from research and development contracts was $400,000 compared to last year's $500,000.

"I am pleased with our business progress in 2013," said Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh in a news release. "We have dramatically improved our quality, have added to our customer list and have enhanced our financial position. The sales prospects and funnel remain strong for the rest of the year, and we expect that the business steps taken over the past six months will result in increased customer traction. I remain upbeat about the future of Plug Power."

Expenses were down in the first quarter. Research and development expenses were $800,000 compared to $1.2 million in the first quarter of 2012. Selling, general and administrative expenses were $2.9 million compared to $3.9 million last year.

Also in the first quarter, Plug Power received a $6.5 million investment from French industrial gas manufacturer Air Liquide to, among other things, develop its fuel cell technology for the European market.

To date, Plug Power has shipped more than 4,000 of its GenDrive units to more than 23 different customers. These units consume more than 90 percent of the hydrogen fuel used to power fuel cell products across North America, according to the release.

The company, which develops and sells a range of fuel cell systems, aims to continue to get back on track after financial troubles, layoffs, near-delisting from the NASDAQ and the sale of its Latham headquarters.

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