Meyer Burger sees revenue drop despite increase in orders

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Coming off a difficult year, Swiss engineering group Meyer Burger said on Wednesday that a lower than expected demand in the early part of 2013 resulted in a decline in annual sales and a loss increase for the company.

The group saw its annual net loss rise 47% to CHF 162.8 million (US$183.9 million) as sales dropped 69% to CHF 202.6 million.

Meyer Burger said the amount of revenue it made in the year was below expectations at the beginning of the year, but attributed the low level to the fact that demand for equipment increased later than expected and that the majority of orders it received came towards the end of 2013.

"These orders were therefore not relevant in terms of sales in 2013," it stressed.

The company’s revenue breakdown by region changed mainly due to the low level of sales and a different sales mix compared to the previous year. Net sales rose in Europe, which made up 40% compared to 16% the previous year, and the United States, which made up 14% compared to 3% in 2012, while sales in Asia dropped from 81% to 45%.

Towards the end of 2013, the company concluded several significant and in some cases long negotiated contracts for PV projects as well as deals for specialized technologies outside the PV industry.

New orders amounted to CHF 287.7 million with more than 70% generated during the second half of the year. This represents an increase in incoming orders by 29% year-on-year.

Meyer Burger also reduced its operating expenses by CHF 97.7 million compared to the previous year as a result of cost reduction programs that were completed during 2013.