Meyer Burger confident of H1 2016 sales upturn

Switzerland’s Meyer Burger, which produces specialized tooling equipment for the solar industry, has published preliminary first half (H1) financials that forecast a welcome return to profitability for 2016.

The fiscal year is "developing positively along expectations", the company said in a statement released today, with a series of large orders from wafer, cell and module manufacturers boosting Meyer Burger’s bottom line.

The volume of new orders recorded in the first six months of the year is expected to come in at CHF 260 million (approximately $267 million), which is an encouraging year-over-year increase on H1 2015, when the firm’s order volume reached CHF 222.6 million.

Consolidated net sales for H1 are also expected to show a considerable improvement on last year, reaching more than CHF 215 million ($220 million) after last year’s disappointing CHF 124.4 million.

Meyer Burger’s EBITDA will be slightly above breakeven, which is yet further confirmation of the company’s solid turnaround in the space of the last 12 months (EBITDA in H1 2015 was CHF -32 million).

In recent months the company has reported a handful of sizable tool orders, most recently an order placed by an unnamed Chinese PV manufacturer for its DW288 series 3 diamond wire saws as well as its plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) MAiA 2.1 tools, which are used to create PERC solar cells. In the spring, Meyer Burger also secured a major supply order from JA Solar for its MAiA 2.1 system, its diamond wire tooling and its SiNA cell coating technology.

As of the end of the first half of the year, Meyer Burger had cash and cash equivalents of CHF 113 million.

The full financial report for the first half of 2016 will be published on August 17.