Azure Dynamics, the Oak Park hybrid and electric truck powertrain developer, Tuesday reported lower revenue and a higher loss in the first quarter ended March 31.

However, the company said it’s finally taking off in terms of sales, posting record orders of $27 million representing 838 vehicles, and reaffirming its 2011 revenue guidance of $52 million to $68 million.

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The company’s first quarter revenue, though, was just $1.4 million, down from $2.8 million a year earlier. And its loss jumped to $9.1 million or 1 cent a share, vs. a loss of $4.8 million or 1 cent a share a year earlier.

The company’s first quarter order total was up 826 percent from $3.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, and $6.2 million in the first quarter of 2010.

“Although year over year revenue for the quarter was down, it was in-line with our expectations as the first quarter is typically the slowest due to the seasonality of our order flow,” said Scott Harrison, CEO of Azure Dynamics. “In terms of order flow, the quarter itself was robust as we booked orders for 838 trucks from returning and new customers.  Additionally, we made significant advancements in our European operations, including naming Lotus Lightweight Structures as our Transit Connect Electric manufacturing partner and Post Norway as our first customer. Our sales and marketing representation was also expanded in North America with 76 new Ford Commercial Truck Dealerships enrolling in Transit Connect Electric sales and service programs in key markets.”

The highlight of the quarter was a 600 unit Balance Hybrid Electric order by Purolator, with 200 units to be delivered annually beginning in 2011. DHL placed a significant 80 unit order which included 50 Balance Hybrid Electric trucks and 30 Transit Connect Electric vans destined for an all-alternative energy facility in New York City. The order shows that major fleets often require different vehicle technologies and sizes to meet different delivery needs.  Azure is prepared to meet most of these needs.

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As of March 31, the company’s net cash and cash equivalents totaled $17.7 million, and working capital totaled $22.1 million, compared to cash and cash equivalents of $11.7 million, and working capital of $11.4 million, as of Dec. 31.

On Feb. 10, Azure successfully closed its bought deal offering of 61 million common shares of the company at a price of 33 cents Canadian per share. The total offering of shares resulted in Azure receiving aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $20.1 million Canadian.

The company said it expects 2011 results to be significantly stronger beginning in the second quarter due to the launch of the Ford Transit Connect Electric, which will continue into the second half of the year. Unit volume for 2011 is expected to be in the range of 1,300 to 1,500 units, consisting of approximately 700 to 800 Balance Hybrid Electric drive-trains and LEEP systems and 600 to 700 Force Drive Electric drive-trains for the Transit Connect Electric.

The company’s fiscal 2011 first quarter financial statements and MD&A are available at www.sedar.com or on the company’s Web site at www.azuredynamics.com. A replay of a conference call discussing the results will also be available at the company’s Web site.

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The company will also hold its annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, June 15 at 4:30 p.m. at its headquarters, 14925 W. 11 Mile Road, Oak Park. In addition to the formal business described in the Management Information Circular, there will be a management presentation on business activities and the Company’s 2010 financial results.