Manz reports higher sales and positive earnings for 2018

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From pv magazine Germany

Solar production line equipment maker Manz AG saw sales rise 11.6% to €297 million last year, achieving earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of €1.7 million.

Provisional 2018 figures released by the company today showed Manz improved EBIT before special items by more than €35 million compared to the previous year. However the ‘special item’ in question – a cable fire at a Manz facility in Taiwan which caused €5.1 million of damage – dragged the EBIT figure into the red at -€3.4 million.

The Reutlingen-based company said it generated sales of €105 million in its solar business – up €700,000 from 2017 – but solar EBIT fell year-on-year from €31 million to €14.4 million. Manz explained the solar EBIT figure for 2017 had included a €34.4 million one-off lift from the sale of Nice Solar Energy GmbH – formerly Manz CIGS Technology GmbH.

CIGS orders dominate

Last year, major CIGS contracts with Chinese partners Shanghai Electric Group and the state-owned China Energy Investment Corporation dominated the business. Manz said order delivery was largely running to schedule and, despite some delays related to construction works, it expected follow-up orders from the end of the year.

Manz’s Energy Storage and Electronics businesses reported revenues of €35.4 million – up from €23.8 million in 2017 – and €93.9 million, up from €88.5 million, respectively. For both segments, however, earnings are expected to be negative.

The German manufacturer’s Contract Manufacturing unit reported an increase in revenue for 2018 to €43.1 million, from €32 million. However that pesky cable fire gave the unit’s EBIT a €4.7 million hit for a final annual figure of €1.2 million. The service business developed in line with expectations to generate sales of €19.5 million, up from €17.3 million.

Manz, unsurprisingly, wants to increase sales and earnings this year. Chief financial officer Manfred Hochleitner said: “Our group wide measures to sustainably increase competitiveness and profitability are taking effect. This proves our positive corporate development in 2018, with which we see ourselves on the right path.” Manz intends to publish the final figures for 2018, as well as a detailed forecast for the current financial year, on March 28.