The difficult situation in the photovoltaic market continued unabated in the first half of 2012. In this challenging environment, the Meyer Burger Group achieved an incoming new order volume of approximately CHF 130 million. The order backlog as per the end of June 2012 was around CHF 670 million and it can be expected that a portion of this will be recognised as sales in the current year.
In light of current overcapacities at solar cell and module manufacturers and cautious consumer demand, the Meyer Burger Group has achieved consolidated sales of about CHF 307 million in the first six months of 2012. Net sales development and the implementation of the optimisation and consolidation programme announced for 2012 have resulted in the Meyer Burger Group achieving a positive result of around CHF 3 - 5 million at EBITDA level for the first half of 2012. Meyer Burger has successfully implemented a significant portion of its optimisation and consolidation measures and expects to achieve noticeable positive effects in the second half of 2012. The full potential of the optimisation and consolidation efforts resulting in a sustainable reduction in operating costs is expected to be realised in 2013.
In the first half of 2012, a significant increase in net working capital was recorded mainly due to the market driven reduction in customer prepayments compared to the previous year. This led to a negative operating cash flow of approximately CHF 100 million.
The cash flow from investment activities is largely made up of a substantial investment in connection with the new production and competence centre in Thun and it reached around CHF 30 million by the end of the first half of 2012. The straight bond issue for approximately CHF 130 million in spring 2012 has led in total to a positive cash flow from financial activities of approximately CHF 100 million.
Taking cash and cash equivalents amounting to approximately CHF 240 million at the end of the first half of 2012 into account as well as committed un-used credit limits, the Meyer Burger Group has over CHF 300 million in liquidity available.
It is very difficult to estimate when the current overcapacities in the photovoltaic market will be reduced and when positive demand will generate new investment programmes by the cell and module manufacturers. From today’s perspective, Meyer Burger confirms its forecasted guidance ranges for the full year 2012 and it expects to achieve the lower half of its guidance (net sales of between CHF 600-800 million and an EBITDA margin of between 4-8%). As the technology leader in the photovoltaic market, Meyer Burger focus is on sustainable research and development and making it a reliable, long-term partner for its customers.
News published on 26 / 07 / 2012 by Bharat Vasandani