Meyer Burger today announced it is expecting to post profits in the range of CHF 7million to 8 million (US$7 million to 8 million), representing a major turnaround from the CHF 17 million loss posted in H1 2017, and the end to several years of losses for the company.
The equipment provider says it expects to post net sales of CHF 232 million – a 9% increase over the first half of 2017, as well as an EBITDA of CHF 28 million, around a 400% increase over H1 2017’s CHF 6.9 million.
Despite receiving plenty of orders for its equipment, the company had not managed to achieve profitability since announcing a company-wide restructuring plan, and a $162 million recapitalization in November 2016.
Overall, the company has made significant changes to its operations, including ending production of its diamond wire materials in the U.S., closing down manufacturing operations at its headquarters in Thun, Switzerland, and subsequently outsourcing part of its European manufacturing to Spanish supplier, Mondragon.
The positive preliminary results posted by Meyer Burger today were slightly marred by a drop in incoming orders, which more than halved from CHF 308.5 million in H1 2017 to CHF 138 million. Like many others in the industry, the company seems certain that the current environment represents “the darkness before the dawn.”
“Over the past months, the market environment for PV equipment suppliers was heavily influenced by the intensifying trade crisis between the USA and China… as well as the Chinese government’s announcement regarding subsidy cuts in the solar industry. Both facts have led to a momentary strong reluctance regarding new investments on behalf of Meyer Burger’s PV customers,” reads a statement accompanying the preliminary results.
“The company is convinced that the long-term growth scenario for the PV industry remains intact and that its technologically advanced product portfolio and technology leadership position provide a sound basis to capture future growth opportunities.”