For the first half of 2017, Meyer Burger achieved strong incoming orders of CHF 308.5 million ($316.6 million), up by 15% compared to the previous year (H1 2016 CHF 267.8 million ($274.9 million), reflecting new investments from wafer, cell and module manufacturers looking to upgrade their existing technologies and increase their production capacities.
Net sales reached CHF 212.3 million ($218 million), which is 2.5% lower compared to the previous year period (H1 2016 CHF 217.8 million ($223.6 million), which the company attributes to negative currency effects amounting to around CHF 2.6 million or -1.2% in the first half of 2017.
The amount of operating income after costs of products and services was CHF 98.2 million ($100.6 million) (H1 2016 CHF 107.2 million($109.8 million), with a margin of 46.3% for the first half of 2017 (H1 2016 49.2%), resulting from exceptional warranty provisions for an update/exchange of solar modules produced in the years 2008-2009, value adjustments on inventory in connection with streamlining the product portfolio, and negative currency effects on trade receivables and customer prepayments, for a total amount of CHF -11.4 million ($11.6 million).
Looking at EBITDA, the Swiss equipment supplier posted an increase to CHF 6.9 million ($ 7 million) in the first half of 2017, up from CHF 6.2 million ($6.3 million) in the respective period last year. With the higher net sales and a number of cost reduction measures becoming fully effective in the second part of the year, Meyer Burger expects a substantially higher EBITDA contribution with an estimated EBITDA margin of >11%.
The net result came to CHF -17.0 million ($17.4 million) (H1 2016 CHF -25.6 million ($26.2 million). The net result per share was CHF -0.03 (H1 2016 CHF -0.08).
On the maturity date of 24 May 2017, Meyer Burger redeemed the CHF 130 million ($ 133 million) 5% straight bond at nominal value, which also led to a contraction of the balance sheet total, thereby positively impacting the equity ratio, which as of 30 June 2017 stood at 43.4%.
Finally, the company has confirmed its 2017 outlook with net sales of about CHF 440-460 million and EBITDA of about CHF 30-45 million for fiscal year 2017.
In his first solar industry interview since stepping into the role at the beginning of 2017, Meyer Burger CEO Hans Brändle said: “Let’s see what 2017 brings”. So far, things are looking up for the Swiss equipment provider.