Manz AG’s energy storage segment drives growth in Q1

After a tough 2015, which saw Manz AG incur significant losses, mainly in its electronics sector, the company looks like it is moving back in the right direction with promising Q1 results, which see both revenues and EBIT on the rise. It’s good news for the German company that recently started a strategic collaboration with Shanghai Electric in the solar sector, hoping to lead to further growth.

The company blamed its poor performance in 2015 on order cancellations and delays in its electronics and energy storage segments, so it must have been relieved to start 2016 with an impressive increase of incoming orders. This was reflected in Manz’s total revenue of €64.5 million (US$73.5 million) in Q1, up 19.5% from €54 million in the same period last year.

The majority of the added revenue came from the company’s energy storage segment, which accounted for a total of €27.9 million, or 43.1% of Manz’s total revenue in the quarter, and up a staggering 30.6% from the first quarter of 2015. It is a sign of the times, as the energy storage market is growing across the globe, which is raising demand for Manz’s lithium-ion batteries and capacitors production equipment. The company’s other two main segments, electronics and solar, accounted for 27.2% and 12.6% of total revenue respectively.

With the increase in revenues, Manz was able to reduce some of its loses and start improving on disappointing profits and EBIT from 2015. It recorded net profit of -€3.2 million in Q1 2016, which was up from -€10.2 million from the same period in 2015, while the company’s EBIT was moving in the right direction as well, finishing on -€2.5 million at the end of the quarter, which is a significant increase from the -€9.4 million recorded in Q1 2015.

The company cited its restructuring measures as being crucial to the turnaround in its fortunes. As part of the fresh management approach, Manz is focusing on optimising sales, expanding its international production and supplier network, and continuing its R&D strategy.

“Our very dynamic Energy Storage segment was once again the revenue driver in the first quarter,” said Dieter Manz, CEO and founder of Manz AG. “The restructuring measures also showed their first effects in the results. To become sustainably profitable, however, we still have several tasks ahead of us.”

Manz is hoping that its solar sector will begin to benefit from a strategic collaboration with Shanghai Electricity that was finalized during the quarter. The investment from Shanghai Electricity meant that Manz was required to increase its capital by about 43% of the capital stock, which it did in April 2016.

“In addition to an optimization of the cost basis, the planned investment and collaboration with the Chinese Shanghai Electric Group will form a solid foundation for the positive business development of Manz AG,” added Dieter Manz. “We are confident that the measures we have initiated, the successful completion of the capital increase and the beginning of our cooperation with Shanghai Electric will enable us, as a German hi-tech equipment manufacturer, to look to our future with renewed vigor.”