Meyer Burger Group reached results for the first half of 2012 that are in line with its expectations. These were achieved within a very difficult market environment for the photovoltaic industry. In view of the continuing overcapacities at cell and module manufacturers, many customers remained hesitant in terms of ordering
new production equipment during the period under review. Net sales for the first half of 2012 amounted to CHF 307.8 million (CHF 575.0 million in H1 2011) and at EBITDA level, the Company reported a profit of CHF 4.6 million (CHF 154.9 million in H1 2011).
For the first time in its successful corporate history since its IPO in 2006, Meyer Burger recorded a loss at Group earnings level of CHF 34.2 million (profit of CHF 76.6 million in H1 2011). The balance sheet structure remains very solid with an equity ratio of 54.2%. Meyer Burger Group also commands a high liquidity position. Cash and cash equivalents amounted to CHF 238.6 million as at 30 June 2012 and together with committed, un-used credit lines and possibilities for a mortgage loan, Meyer Burger Group has over CHF 300 million in liquidity at its disposal.
Meyer Burger Technology Ltd (SIX Swiss Exchange: MBTN) reached results for the first half of 2012 that were in line with its expectations. The extremely tense situation in the photovoltaic industry and the fierce consolidation process which had begun in the second half of 2011, continued, as expected, unabated in the
first six months of 2012. In view of the continuing overcapacities at cell and module manufacturers, many customers remained hesitant in terms of ordering new production equipment in the first half of 2012.
Incoming orders, order backlog
After incoming orders had already substantially declined in the second half of 2011 owing to the market situation for solar cell and module manufacturers, they increased by approximately 44% in the first six months of 2012 compared with the second half of 2011. In comparison to the first half of 2011, in which a historic peak result of CHF 787.6 million had been achieved, the volume of incoming orders for new manufacturing equipment amounted to CHF 128.4 million in the first six months of 2012 (a deviation of 84% against H1 2011).
The order backlog as at 30 June 2012 amounted to CHF 672.6 million (CHF 909.9 million as at 31 December 2011).
Net sales amounted to CHF 307.8 million (CHF 575.0 million in H1 2011). The decline in sales of about 46% was within the scope of the Company¡¦s expectations and, proportionately for the half-year period, is also in line with the Company guidance for net sales that was published in March 2012. Asia was once again the most important customer region with 77% of net sales. Europe provided 18% of net sales while customers in the USA accounted for
another 5% of net sales.
EBITDA and EBIT
Net sales development and the implementation of the optimisation and consolidation programme have resulted in Meyer Burger achieving an EBITDA of CHF 4.6 million (CHF 154.9 million in H1 2011). The EBITDA margin amounted to 1.5% compared with 26.9% in the previous year’s period.
Depreciation and amortisation totalled CHF 51.8 million, with depreciation of property, plant and equipment amounting to CHF 10.9 million. CHF 39.6 million reflect scheduled amortisation of intangible assets, which resulted mainly from M&A activities of previous years, and CHF 1.3 million reflect other depreciation on intangible assets (mainly software).
Meyer Burger recorded a loss at EBIT level, amounting to CHF 47.1 million (profit of CHF 125.1 million in H1 2011).
Financial result, taxes
The financial result, net, amounted to CHF -1.0 million in the first half of 2012. Due to a more stable foreign currency situation (mainly EUR, USD), changes in the valuation of intercompany loans to foreign subsidiaries were insignificant.
An amount of CHF 29.8 million of unrealised exchange rate losses had to be recognised in this context in the first half of 2011 which is the main reason that the financial result, net, in the previous year’s period was CHF -32.7 million.
The taxes for the first half of 2012 amounted to a tax income of CHF 14.0 million, which is mainly attributable to the reduction of temporary differences due to intangible assets, the capitalisation of loss carry-forwards and generally weaker results from operations (tax expenditure of CHF 15.3 million in H1 2011).
Outlook for the second half of 2012
A short-term estimate for the photovoltaic market remains difficult. There are still overcapacities at cell and module manufacturers, and it is impossible to estimate exactly at this point in time when these overcapacities will be eliminated and new programmes to invest in production equipment will again be launched. On the basis of discussions with its customers, Meyer Burger is expecting demand for its products and solutions to rise again substantially in 2013.