SFC Energy AG: Operative business strengthened in Q3/11compared to previous year, PBF acquisition emphasizes strategic system solution focus

SFC Energy AG / Key word(s): Quarter Results

27.10.2011 / 07:58

- Total sales of EUR 10,503k in 9M/11, giving growth of 18.5 %

- Improved gross profit (9M/11: up by 43.6 %, Q3/11: up by 127.3 %) confirms
success of marketing high margin, high power products

- Acquisition of PBF Group B.V. emphasizes strategic focus and growth potential

- Cost reductions and restructuring measures with concentration on core business areas

Brunnthal/Munich, Germany, October 27, 2011 - SFC Energy AG, technology and market leader in mobile and remote power solutions based on fuel cells, has generated EUR 10,503k in the first nine months of 2011, which marks an increase of 18.5 % over the previous year (9M/10: EUR 8,865k). Sales in the third quarter 2011 of EUR 2,727k were 19.2 % up on the same period in the previous year (Q3/10: EUR 2,287k).

Key Data

TEUR Q3/11 Q3/10 qoq 9M/11 9M/10 yoy
Sales 2,727 2,287 +19.2% 10,503 8,865 +18.5%
Gross profit 1,084 477 +127.3% 3,522 2,453 +43.6%
Gross margin 39.7% 20.9%   33.5% 27.7%  
EBIT -1,810 -2,032 10.9%. -4,013 -4,138 3.0%
EAT -1,711 -1,944 12.0% -3,724 -3,849 3.2%


Gross profit in the first nine months of 2011 increased by 43.6 % to EUR 3,522k (9M/10: EUR 2,453k). This is a result of SFC's consistent orientation on high margin products with strong customer benefit in all three core markets. The success of this initiative is reflected especially in the strong gross profit growth of 127.3 % in Q3/11 to EUR 1,084k (Q3/10: EUR 477k), mainly due to the new EFOY COMFORT series for leisure applications, the EMILY fuel cell for vehicle based defense applications and the attractive EFOY Pro series for industrial and professional use. As a consequence, gross margin increased to 33.5 % (9M/10: 27.7 %) (Q3/11: 39.7 %, Q3/10: 20.9 %).

The Company's EBIT in the first nine months of 2011 with minus EUR 4,013k was slightly better than the previous year (9M/10: minus EUR 4,138k); in Q3/11, EBIT improved to minus EUR 1,810k from minus EUR 2,032k in Q3/10.

The EBIT in Q3/11 was negatively impacted in particular by one-off effects: EUR 166k acquisition costs for PBF and EUR 364k restructuring costs, mainly for staff related measures. In addition, a provision against receivables of EUR 128k had to be made.

The after tax result in the first nine months of 2011 also slightly increased to minus EUR 3,724k (9M/10: minus EUR 3,849k) (Q3/11: minus EUR 1,711k, Q3/10: minus EUR 1,944k).

In the first nine months of 2011 market demand for SFC products increased. Incoming orders in this period with EUR 8,508k were 13.8 % ahead of previous year (9M/10: EUR 7,474k). In Q3/11 incoming orders decreased by 26 % to EUR 2,307k (Q3/10: EUR 3,117k), mainly due to the continued reduction of stock levels at dealers in the leisure market in this already traditionally weak quarter of the year. The order backlog at September 30, 2011, was EUR 1,155k (September 30, 2010: EUR 2,021k), mainly driven by delays in defense orders.

Cash and cash equivalents (freely available) at September 30, 2011, came to EUR 28,459k (September 30, 2010: EUR 34,734k). The increased net cash flow used in operating was mainly a result of a change in purchasing and hedging policies and delays in the payment of grant funded projects.

As of September 30, 2011, SFC Energy AG had 101 permanent employees (September 30, 2010: 97 permanent employees).


In the nine-months reporting period SFC again generated significant sales increases in the industry segment (up by 41.0 %) as well as in the defense segment (up by 112.7 %). The sales increase in the defense segment is mainly due to the positive acceptance of the EMILY fuel cell in vehicle based applications. The reduction of stock levels at dealers in the leisure market, initiated by SFC, continued to negatively influence sales in this segment (down by 17.6 % compared to 9M/10).

Whilst in the leisure segment the number of A-series fuel cell systems sold declined by 18.9 % to 2,317 units (9M/10: 2,858 units), A-series sales were increased by 5.0 %. This was mainly due to increased sales in the industry and defense markets.


After the end of the reporting period, on October 20, 2011, SFC Energy AG reported the signature of a contract to acquire PBF Group B.V. (PBF), a Dutch company with international operations specializing in switched mode power supplies and higher level power management solutions. The transaction is an important step in SFC's strategic orientation as a systems provider and offers considerable growth potential by increasing both companies' presence in existing markets, such as, industrial applications, security, and defense as well as extending the customer base into new markets, such as medical equipment.

After an analysis of SFC's business model, a concentration on three core business areas was implemented in the third quarter: industry, consumer, defense & security. The restructuring and cost reduction measures taken in the context of this concentration will also lead to headcount reduction of approx. 15 % in the fourth quarter of 2011. The point of all these steps is helping SFC to become profitable as soon as possible.


For the current fiscal year SFC continues to expect organic sales growth of approximately the same as last year's level, and a total turnover between EUR 15 to 16 million - assuming the consolidation of PBF starts with effect from December 1, 2011. However, 2011 earnings will - as already announced - be negatively influenced by several one-off items amounting to approximately EUR 1.2 million. These mainly derive from the PBF acquisition as well as from a number of recently initiated restructuring measures. In addition, management intends to execute further restructuring and cost cutting measures during the remainder of 2011 which could give rise to further negative one-off effects of similar magnitude. Nevertheless, after adjusting for those special and one-off effects, the Company expects a significant improvement in underlying results from operating activities in 2011 when compared to the previous year. Partly as a result of the acquisition of PBF and of the benefit of the restructuring initiatives the group is expecting to achieve break-even in the second half of 2012.

Detailed Financials

The nine months 2011 report of SFC Energy AG as well as background information on the PBF transaction is available on the 'Investor' pages at www.sfc.com.

About SFC Energy AG

SFC Energy AG (www.sfc.com) is a market leader in fuel cell technologies for mobile and off-grid power applications serving the leisure, industrial and defense markets. As one of Germany's technology pioneers, SFC has won numerous innovation awards. SFC has alliances with leading companies in a wide range of industries. Unlike most other fuel cell manufacturers, who are in the research and development phase or run subsidized demonstration projects, SFC has successfully shipped more than 22,000 fully commercial products to industrial and private end users for more than five years, and has created a convenient fuel cartridge supply infrastructure. SFC is DIN ISO 9001:2000 certified. SFC is based in Brunnthal, Germany, and has a U.S. sales and technical service office in the U.S. SFC Energy AG is listed at the Deutsche Boerse Prime Standard (WKN 756857).

SFC Investor Relations and Press Contact:

Barbara von Frankenberg
Head of IR and PR
SFC Energy AG
Eugen-Sänger-Ring 7
D-85649 Brunnthal
Tel. +49 89 673 592-378
Fax. +49 89 673 592-169
Email: [email protected]

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143659  27.10.2011