Aug 16, 2012 - Swiss solar technology company Meyer Burger (SWF:MBTN) today said it had swung to a net loss of CHF 34.2 million (USD 35.1m/EUR 28.5m) in the first half of 2012 from a profit of CHF 76.6 million a year ago.
This is the first time that the company has booked a loss at group earnings level since it went public in 2006. The negative result came against the backdrop of "very difficult" market conditions for the photovoltaic (PV) industry with ongoing overcapacities at cell and module makers making them wary of ordering new manufacturing equipment.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at CHF 4.6 million, compared with CHF 154.9 million a year back. The EBITDA margin fell to 1.5% from 26.9%.
Net sales were 46% lower at CHF 307.8 million.
The company said that it could not be predicted exactly yet when cell and module manufacturers would begin again to invest in equipment but added that based on talks with customers, it expected a substantial increase in demand for its products in 2013. Meyer Burger upheld its 2012 guidance for sales of CHF 600-800 million and EBITDA margin of 4-8% but said it expected to perform in the lower half of the forecast ranges.