08/11/2009 07:43:00 CEST
Revenues of € 28.28 million in H1 2009 (previous year: € 101.6 million)
- EBIT falls from € 12.02 million to € -12.56 million
- Balance sheet structure remains solid to realize corporate strategy
- Forecast depends on timing of the anticipated recovery of the solar industry market
Manz Automation AG, one of the world’s leading technology providers for the photovoltaic and LCD industries, recorded revenues of € 28.28 million in the first six months of 2009 (previous year: € 101.6 million). At the same time, total operating revenue totaled € 38.11 million compared to € 102.44 million in the first six months of 2008.
In this time period consolidated EBIT fell to € -12.56 million (previous year: € 12.02 million). Pre-tax earnings (EBT) sank to € -12.11 million after € 11.38 million in the same period of the previous year. At the same time, a consolidated net loss for the first half of 2009 of € -9.82 million was generated compared to net income of € 8.82 million last year. This corresponds to earnings per share for the first six months of 2009 of € -2.08 (previous year: € 2.41). During the same period, the cash flow from operating activities fell to € -2.89 million (previous year: € -1.21 million).
The substantial downturn in results is due, in particular, to the current situation in the solar sector. This is caused by the financial crisis, since the fall of last year almost all of the scheduled new investments in and extensions to production facilities have been put on ice. However, there were positive signals from the LCD industry in the second quarter of 2009. Positive factors such as the Chinese economic program enabled demand to pick up perceptibly in this segment. Capacity uptake in this division will thus grow again significantly in the second half of the year.
After the first half of 2009, the company continues to enjoy a very solid balance sheet as of June 30, 2009. Its equity ratio of 77% and its cash and cash equivalents of around € 59 million put Manz Automation into an excellent position to be able to implement its long-term strategy in a target-oriented manner even in the current market phase. Therefore, the group is able to continue to drive its R&D activities resolutely in future, in order to develop the innovations required for the next generations of machines for the solar and LCD industries.
The current difficult situation on the market for the photovoltaic industry is due, in particular, to the financial crisis and the thus significantly more difficult financing for production lines and solar systems. At the same time, customers’ inventories have increased significantly as a result of the lack of demand for solar modules. As a result, Manz Automation is being confronted with customers postponing orders during the current year, however only very few orders have yet been cancelled. The order book on June 30, 2009 totaled € 87.5 million.
As the timing of the upswing in the solar sector is difficult to forecast, there are various scenarios for Manz for fiscal year 2009. If the current order book is fully called up by customers this year, the previously published target of recording balanced EBIT in fiscal year 2009 remains realistic. However, this is subject to a strong upturn in the solar industry in the second half of the year, and the probability of this happening has fallen over the past few weeks. If this upswing fails to materialize, the company can no longer expect to record balanced operating results over the year as a whole.
In spite of this, Dieter Manz, Manz Automation AG’s CEO, is still optimistic about the future: “We recognized the signs of the times at an early stage, and reduced our costs by introducing short-time work and adjusting capacity. The investments that we made last year in new production facilities in Slovakia, Taiwan and China will help us to cut costs significantly and to further expand our competitive position. The focus for 2009 is on research and development. Our innovations enable us to provide our customers with highly efficient, low-cost production processes, allowing them to compensate for the lower module prices. This means that Manz Automation is excellently equipped for manufacturers' next innovation cycle, making it possible for us to benefit substantially from the coming upswing.”
The diversification into production technology for Li-Ion batteries for electric cars which was started at the beginning of the year is already bearing its first fruit and will already make a positive contribution to revenues and earnings in the second half of 2009.
The full report for the first six months of 2009 can be downloaded from www.manz-automation.com in the Investor Relations section.