Meyer Burger cuts 2018 net loss slightly

Meyer Burger solar technology centre. Photo: Meyer Burger

March 21 (Renewables Now) - Swiss solar industry supplier Meyer Burger Technology AG (SWX:MBTN) reduced its full-year net loss just slightly in 2018, to CHF 59.4 million (USD 59.9m/EUR 52.6m) from CHF 79.3 million a year back.

The company blamed the small extent of the reduction on the highly negative impact of value adjustments on deferred tax assets in a total amount of CHF 49 million. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) more than doubled to CHF 26.1 million from CHF 12.4 million, leading to an EBITDA margin of 6.4% compared to 2.6% in 2017.

The table below gives more details about the company’s performance in 2018.

Figures in CHF million, unless otherwise noted 2018 2017
Net sales 407 473.3
Operating income after costs of products and services 200.8 194.8
EBITDA 26.1 12.4
EBITDA margin (%) 6.4 2.6
EBIT (loss) 1.8 (19.3)
Net profit (loss) (59.4) (79.3)

Last year, Meyer Burger achieved incoming orders of CHF 326.8 million, down from CHF 560.7 million in 2017. The company noted that “Chinese customers seem to put additional emphasis on buying PV manufacturing equipment locally, whenever possible.”

As at end-2018, Meyer Burger’s total order backlog amounted to CHF 240.5 million, compared to CHF 343.8 million a year earlier.

Looking forward, the company sees 2019 as a difficult year to predict because of political uncertainties. It noted though that the planned sale of its wafering business should close within weeks and generate CHF 50 million in proceeds.

Also on Thursday, the company announced that by the end of June 2019 chief operating officer Daniel Lippuner will leave the executive board, which will be resized from five to four members.

(CHF 1.0 = USD 1.008/EUR 0.885)

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