SFC Energy AG – Corporate News
SFC Energy AG publishes its figures for the first quarter of 2022 – Order intake nearly tripled compared to the previous year – Forecast 2022 confirmed despite temporary burdens
- Order backlog increases significantly to EUR 57,144k (12/31/2021: EUR 30,551k) – Order intake in Q1/2022 nearly tripled to EUR 44,257k (Q1/2021: EUR 15,647k)
- Group sales increased by 5.4% to EUR 17,905k (Q1/2021: EUR 16,984k)
- Underlying EBITDA margin drops to 4.5% (Q1/2021: 13.8%) due to higher prices for intermediate goods and higher transport and logistics expenses
- Confirmation of full-year forecast for 2022
Brunnthal/Munich, Germany, May 17, 2022 – SFC Energy AG (“SFC,” F3C:DE, ISIN: DE0007568578), a leading supplier of hydrogen and methanol fuel cells for stationary and mobile hybrid power solutions, reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2022 today.
“The demand for our environmentally friendly energy solutions remains high. We were able to significantly increase our record order backlog of EUR 30,551k at the end of 2021 to EUR 57,144k in the first quarter of 2022. The transformation of the energy landscape towards climate-neutral solutions is not only intact, but is experiencing further dynamization in the wake of the latest geopolitical developments. Intact demand is offset by a globally strained supply chain and logistics situation as well as increased prices for precursors, raw materials and transport costs, however. These factors are putting a temporary strain on profitability. We have already addressed these issues by implementing clearly defined measures. For example, we are trying to cushion possible fluctuations in the supply chains by increasingly relying on European suppliers and building up our inventories. We have also adjusted the prices of our products to the new market conditions so that we can significantly increase profitability again over the next quarters of 2022.
The milestones achieved in the first quarter as part of the regional expansion of the business are further consistent steps in our growth strategy. We are strengthening our local presence in India, as local value creation will significantly facilitate access to an enormously fast-growing market in cooperation with our long-standing partners FC TecNrgy and Bharat Electronics. Here, we now offer the entire EFOY hydrogen and methanol fuel cell product range. The situation is similar in Singapore, where we are meeting the high demand for hydrogen technologies in cooperation with Oneberry Technologies. In Europe, together with Test-Fuchs and the Auto AG Group, we are meeting with great interest from a wide range of user industries with the pilot system of the H2 genset, a mobile and emission-free hydrogen-based power generator – a “green generator”. The high potential of H2 technologies is also underscored by our cooperation with the Wolftank Group. We have been testing a backup hydrogen power supply for telecom towers for the leading Italian telecommunications company TIM (formerly Telecom Italia) since March.
Due to the intact demand situation, we have already rolled out the largest investment program in the company’s history and are continuing to systematically work through the individual steps. Specifically, we are doubling our production capacity at the Brunnthal site and introducing an additional production line in Cluj, Romania.
We are convinced that our products will not only accompany, but also shape and accelerate the transformation towards a climate-neutral energy landscape. We therefore remain very optimistic about the rest of the 2022 financial year and the tasks that lie ahead of us.”
Development of sales and orders
Order intake increased significantly to EUR 44,257k (Q1/2021: EUR 15,647k) due to the continued strong demand momentum in the first quarter. This adds up to a nearly threefold increase compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The good order situation led to an increase in the order backlog to EUR 57,144k as of March 31, 2022 (December 31, 2021: EUR 30,551k).
In the period from January 1 to March 31, 2022, the SFC Energy Group generated sales growth of 5.4% to EUR 17,905k (Q1/2021: EUR 16,984k). This positive development in the challenging economic environment resulted from the growth of the Clean Energy segment, which achieved a 21.9% increase in sales compared to the same quarter of the previous year due to continued high demand for fuel cells. About 10% of potential additional sales could not be realized in the first quarter due to delays in the supply chain.
|Sales by segments in EURk
|Clean Power Management
Development of the segments
Sales in the Clean Energy segment increased by 21.9% to EUR 12,279k in the first quarter compared to EUR 10,071k in the same quarter of the previous year. Sales of fuel cell solutions for industrial applications, which made the largest contribution to segment sales, increased significantly in the reporting quarter, followed by SFC solutions for private (consumer) applications. Sales to public safety customers, which made the smallest contribution to segment sales, also increased significantly in the reporting quarter, following low sales in the same period of the previous year due to the pandemic. In addition to significantly higher demand from Asia, the increased contribution from the fuel cell business in the US was a key driving factor of growth. The largest US order in the company’s history from LiveView Technologies in 2021 was followed by another large-volume order from this customer for fuel cells for use in civil surveillance technology in March 2022. At 68.6% (Q1/2021: 59.3%), the Clean Energy segment further expanded its share of total Group sales in the first quarter, while the Clean Power Management segment’s share of Group sales decreased to 31.4% (Q1/2021: 40.7%). Sales in this segment fell by 18.6% to EUR 5,627k in the reporting quarter, compared to EUR 6,913k in the same quarter of the previous year. Despite the very high order backlog, the main reason for the decline is the challenging procurement environment for electronic components, which affects the Clean Power Management segment more than the Clean Energy segment and results in shifts in sales.
Development of earnings
Despite the positive development of Group sales in the first quarter, increased material, logistics and transport costs in particular had an offsetting effect on gross profit. Gross profit declined to EUR 5,608k in the first quarter (Q1/2021: EUR 6,203k). The resulting gross profit margin of the Group (gross profit as a percentage of sales) amounted to 31.3% in the reporting quarter (Q1/2021: 36.5%).
The gross profit for the individual segments compared to the previous year is as follows:
|Gross profit by segment in EURk
|Clean Power Management
Underlying EBITDA, i.e. EBITDA adjusted for non-recurring effects, declined to EUR 809k in the first quarter of 2022 (Q1/2021: EUR 2,346k). The underlying EBITDA margin decreased significantly to 4.5% in the reporting quarter (Q1/2021: 13.8%). The decline in underlying EBITDA was mainly due to the decrease in gross profit in conjunction with the increase in functional costs, in particular general and administrative expenses. The increase in general and administrative expenses is attributable to higher personnel expenses and significantly higher audit, legal and consulting expenses in the first quarter.
Underlying EBIT, i.e. EBIT adjusted for non-recurring effects, decreased significantly to EUR -418k (Q1/2021: EUR 1,425k) compared to the same quarter of the previous year. This resulted in an adjusted EBIT margin of -2.3% (Q1/2021: 8.4%). The first quarter closed with a consolidated net loss for the period of EUR -1,178k (Q1/2021: EUR -3,635k). Earnings per share in accordance with IFRS, basic and diluted, improved in the reporting quarter to EUR -0.08 (Q1/2021: EUR -0.25).
At 57.1%, the equity ratio in the first quarter was roughly at the level of the 2021 balance sheet date (57.3%). The net financial position (freely available cash and cash equivalents less liabilities to banks) declined to EUR 16,870k as of March 31, 2022 (December 31, 2021: EUR 21,888k). As of March 31, 2022, the SFC Energy Group had 316 permanent employees (December 31, 2021: 288).
Forecast for 2022
The macroeconomic and geopolitical environment remains characterized by exceptional uncertainty. The war in Ukraine with its effects on supply and transport chains, as well as on the timely availability and price development of energy and raw materials, also contributes to this. SFC Energy AG is not currently aware of any further effects from the rapidly changing situation in Russia and Ukraine, but they could potentially have negative consequences for its business activities if the situation were to worsen beyond the current level.
Besides further geopolitical uncertainties, the forecast is also hampered by continuing shortages of electronic components and other industrial precursors as well as considerable inflationary pressure on companies. Last but not least, the further course of the pandemic, and in particular the strict countermeasures in China, harbor uncertainties for global supply chains and production.
“Despite these macroeconomic uncertainties, we anticipate continued growth in global demand for fuel cell solutions and increasing market penetration of our products based on strong order momentum in the first quarter of 2022. This is based on the assumptions of a constantly rising (off-grid) energy demand, a continuing effort by society and politics to reduce dependency or use of fossil fuels, and the rapidly growing global acceptance of sustainable green energy technologies necessary to achieve long-term climate goals,” said Dr. Peter Podesser.
In light of this situation, the Management Board confirms its full-year forecast for the current fiscal year dated February 14, 2022, and expects consolidated sales in the range of EUR 75 million to EUR 83 million, underlying EBITDA in the range of EUR 6.0 million to EUR 9.1 million and underlying EBIT in the range of EUR 1.6 million to EUR 2.9 million.
The forecast is based on the assumption that the increased costs on the input material and logistics side can be passed on via the price adjustments that have been made. Furthermore, SFC Energy assumes that the impact on its business from COVID-19 and bottlenecks in the supply chains will not worsen dramatically in the course of fiscal year 2022.
Strategic medium-term planning
According to a study conducted by a prestigious consulting firm, European companies are expected to generate sales of up to EUR 65 billion in Europe and another EUR 65 billion in the global markets for hydrogen and fuel cells in 2030. In view of these enormous growth opportunities for hydrogen and fuel cells combined with extensive government investment programs worldwide in this technology, the Management Board also sees growth potential for SFC Energy AG.
The Management Board assumes that organic and inorganic sales growth to around EUR 350 million to 400 million and an increase in the underlying EBITDA margin to 15% to 20% can be achieved in the medium term. These assumptions are based on the extremely dynamic development of global demand for hydrogen and methanol fuel cells in stationary applications. Worldwide, awareness of the importance of environmentally friendly energy sources continues to grow significantly in society and politics. In this context, fuel cells from SFC Energy AG are an integral part of a sustainable decentralized energy supply as a replacement for conventional (diesel) generators, whether for industrial, governmental or private applications. Whether for the emergency power supply of critical infrastructures, telecommunications, new autonomous mobility concepts or advancing digitalization – the fuel cell is a key technology for generating electrical energy efficiently and cleanly. As a fuel cell pioneer with approx. 55,000 fuel cells sold worldwide, totaling more than 100 million operating hours, SFC Energy AG is one of the few market players with comprehensive industrial experience and high technological expertise. The National Hydrogen Strategy in Germany and the related government investment incentives with a volume of more than EUR 9 billion, as well as the broad-based European hydrogen initiatives and support programs, represent a great opportunity for the SFC Energy Group to grow strongly. SFC Energy AG positioned itself in this dynamically growing market at an early stage and is one of the first companies in the world that is fully capable of providing industrially mature products to a steadily growing number of user industries. The use of established market access as well as new fields of application are just as much part of the accelerated growth strategy as strategic acquisitions and the expansion of regional partnerships. SFC Energy AG therefore expects to benefit disproportionately from the dynamic development of the fuel cell market and to grow faster than the market as a whole.
Key figures Q1 2022/Q1 2021
|Underlying EBITDA margin
|Underlying EBIT margin
|Consolidated net result for the period
* As of March 31, 2022
Detailed financial information
The Quarterly Release for the first quarter of 2022 of SFC Energy AG is available for download at www.sfc.com.
SFC Energy AG will hold a conference call in English today, May 17, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. for interested investors and journalists. Please send an email to [email protected] to register.
About SFC Energy AG
SFC Energy AG is a leading provider of hydrogen and methanol fuel cells for stationary and mobile hybrid power solutions. With the Clean Energy and Clean Power Management business segments, SFC Energy is a sustainably profitable fuel cell producer. The Company distributes its award-winning products worldwide and has sold more than 55,000 fuel cells to date. The Company is headquartered in Brunnthal/Munich and operates production facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, and Canada. SFC Energy AG is listed on the Deutsche Boerse Prime Standard (GSIN: 756857, ISIN: DE0007568578).
SFC Energy IR Contact:
Tel. +49 89 125 09 03-33
Email: [email protected]
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This publication may contain forward-looking statements, estimates, opinions and projections with respect to anticipated future performance of the Company ("Forward-Looking Statements"). These Forward-Looking Statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including, but not limited to, the terms "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "may," "will" or "should" or, in each case, their negative, or other variations or comparable terminology. These Forward-Looking Statements include all matters that are not historical facts. Forward-Looking Statements are based on the current views, expectations and assumptions of the management of SFC Energy AG and involve significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Forward-Looking Statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether or not such results will be achieved. Any Forward-Looking Statements only speak as at the date of this release. We undertake no obligation, and do not expect to publicly update, or publicly revise, any of the information, Forward-Looking Statements or the conclusions contained herein or to reflect new events or circumstances or to correct any inaccuracies which may become apparent subsequent to the date hereof, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. We accept no liability whatsoever in respect of the achievement of such Forward-Looking Statements and assumptions.
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