Meyer Burger: Over 47% Less Net Sales In H1/2019

Expecting Negative EBITDA & Over 47% Drop In Net Sales For H1/2019, Meyer Burger Conducts ‘Thorough Review’ Of Business Model & Corporate Strategy; Announces CHF 100 Mn HJT Equipment Framework Contract
05:17 AM (Beijing Time) - 23. July 2019
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Meyer Burger’s financial performance in H1/2019 has prompted the company to carry out an evaluation of its business model and corporate strategy. Results of this deliberation are likely to be shared soon.

Key Takeaways

  • According to preliminary unaudited financial results shared by Meyer Burger for H1/2019, the company’s margins suffered under pressure from drop in prices for standard PV equipment, especially for PERC technology
  • Orders were worth CHF 94 million, compared to CHF 137.9 million a year back and total order backlog being CHF 166 million
  • EBITDA is likely to be negative for the reporting period, however, Meyer Burger said it is in advanced levels of discussions with potential customers for HJT core equipment and SWCT
  • It has announced landing a contract worth CHF 100 million with an unidentified North American start-up for HJT core equipment subject to closing of the company’s financing round
  • Meyer Burger management is conducting a review of the company’s business model and corporate strategy

On July 22, Meyer Burger published two press releases – one about its preliminary unaudited financial H1/2019 results, which shows nearly a halving of its revenues during the first 6 months of 2019 after a drop in prices for standard PV equipment especially for PERC technology while orders for next generation technologies have been delayed. In another PR, it announced signing of a framework sales contract for an HJT line.

For H1/2019, it expects to report orders worth some CHF 94 million ($95.6 million) during the reporting period compared to CHF 137.9 million ($140 million) adjusted for sale of the wafering business CHF 94.5 million ($96 million). Net sales of the company went down to close to CHF 122 million ($124 million), down over 47% compared to the previous year. Excluding wafering equipment, net sales were CHF 119 million ($121 million).

EBITDA is likely to be in negative at CHF -14 million (-$14 million), vis-à-vis CHF 29.2 million ($29.7 million) a year back. As of June 30, 2019, its total order backlog was CHF 166 million ($168.8 million). While new order completions have been delayed, Meyer Burger says it is in advanced discussions with potential customers for its Heterojunction (HJT) core equipment and SmartWire Cell Connection Technology (SWCT). The management expects to breakeven with its net results following the extraordinary income of the sale of the wafering business (see Meyer Burger Completes Wafer Business Sale).

With business activity having fallen short of management expectations, CEO Dr Hans Brändle pointed out Meyer Burger’s ‘decisive breakthrough’ as it delivered HJT and SmartWire cell connection technologies to REC that introduced its new module using Meyer Burger technology at Intersolar in May 2019 (see REC Invests In $150mn In HJT Production).

‘Disappointed’ with its preliminary half-yearly results for H1/2019, Meyer Burger has announced conducting a ‘thorough review’ of the company’s business model and corporate strategy. However, the newly constituted board of directors of the Swiss solar PV equipment manufacturer is not spilling the beans as yet. It plans to disclose the results of this review in ‘due course’.

“Business development in the first half of 2019 underlines the need to challenge our business model and corporate strategy. We will evaluate all strategic options for the future,” elaborated Dr Remo Lütolf, chairman of company’s board of directors. “This includes discussions with industrial partners to develop new business models that create sustainable value for our company and our shareholders.”

Consolidated half-year 2019 financial results will be published by the company on August 15, 2019.

Another HJT order for Meyer Burger

The company also announced signing of a framework contract with an unidentified North American solar cell manufacturing start-up for its HJT core equipment. Founded by solar industry veterans, the start-up will pay up some CHF 100 million ($101.7 million) for the contract volume subject to closing of the company’s financing round.

If all goes well, Meyer Burger will recognize the order intake with the contractual down payment in the beginning of Q4/2019.

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani