Increases in all the right places for Meyer Burger ahead of recapitalization

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Amongst a year of increasing solar activity right across the board, it comes as little surprise that top tier solar manufacturing equipment supplier Meyer Burger has seen an increase in revenues and sales for its high-tech equipment. The company has posted improved financial results compared with the same period last year, but those results haven’t stopped it from embarking a new restructuring program and recapitalization program to ensure payments of bonds due in 2017.

Down to the financial figures, the Swiss company posted incoming order figures of CHF 358.5 million (EUR 334.7 million) for the first three quarters of the year, up 15% from the CHF 310.7 million (EUR 290.1 million) it posted during the same period last year. More impressive still was the 97% increase in net sales, going from CHF 170.3 million in 2015 to CHF 336.1 million in the first nine months of the year.

The increase is a clear indication of the growth in demand from wafer, solar cell and solar modules manufacturers to increase their own capacity. Reflecting a growing demand in the industry for the solar products.

And the improvements didn’t stop there, as the company managed to increase its operating income after costs of products and services by 79% from CHF 91.6 million in the first three quarters of 2015 to CHF 164.0 million in the same period this year.

Most miraculously of all, Meyer Burger managed to turn around a negative EBITDA of CHF -67.2 million from the first nine months of 2015, to a positive EBITDA of CHF 13.9 million for the first nine months of this year. Unfortunately, it wasn’t able to do the same once depreciation and amortization were taken into account, posting a EBIT of CHF -25.5 million for the period. Even though this is a significant improvement from the CHF -119.1 million posted in the same period last year.

Overall, this resulted in a net loss for the nine month period of CHF -40.3 million, which was again a big improvement from the CHF -138.8 million net loss from the first three quarter of 2015.

This biggest news from the third quarter came in the form of a major restructuring for the company that was announced in September. This news was then followed by last week’s announcement of a recapitalization program that will see the company issue CHF 160 million in new shares to ensure payments of bonds due in 2017.

There are three sections to the recapitalization program; adjustments of terms of the outstanding convertible bond; an ordinary capital increase; and the extension of bank credit facilities. To discuss the plans further, a meeting of the company’s convertible bondholders to held on 25 November.

Rounding off the results, Meyer Burger gave some wide-ranging forecasts for the full year of 2016. The company said that it expects net sales to be somewhere between CHF 420-450 million, while it expects to build on its positive EBITDA with a final year figure between CHF 10-20 million.