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Meyer Burger turns to negative EBITDA in H1 2019

Meyer Burger solar technology centre. Photo: Meyer Burger

July 22 (Renewables Now) - Swiss solar industry supplier Meyer Burger Technology AG (SWX:MBTN) has turned to an EBITDA loss in the first half of 2019 despite a substantial reduction in costs, it said on Monday.

Based on preliminary figures, the company has registered a loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of CHF 14 million (USD 14.3m/EUR 12.7m) versus earnings of CHF 29.2 million a year earlier. Still, after recording an extraordinary income on the sale of its wafering business during the period, Meyer Burger expects to book a breakeven net result.

All preliminary figures for the first half of 2019 are available in the table below.

Figures in CHF million H1 2019 H1 2018
Orders 94 137.9
Orders excluding Wafering Equipment 94 94.5
Net sales 122 232.3
Net sales excluding Wafering Equipment 119 200.7
EBITDA (loss) (14) 29.2
Net profit (loss) +/-0 8.3

Meyer Burger noted that margins continued to be under pressure in January-June 2019 because of the fall in prices for standard photovoltaic (PV) equipment, especially in the PERC business. It added that, as a whole, business activity fell short of expectations during the six-month period. Total order backlog amounted to CHF 166 million as of June 30, 2019.

The consolidated half-year results will be published on August 15, 2019.

CEO Hans Braendle commented that he is disappointed with the company’s first-half results but pointed out that Meyer Burger’s delivery of Heterojunction and SmartWire cell connection technologies to REC earlier this year will open up new strategic opportunities for the company.

Meanwhile, the board of Meyer Burger is reviewing the company’s business model and corporate strategy.

“We will evaluate all strategic options for the future. This includes discussions with industrial partners to develop new business models that create sustainable value for our company and our shareholders,” stated Remo Luetolf, chairman of the board of directors of Meyer Burger.

(CHF 1.0 = USD 1.019/EUR 0.908)

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