SFC Energy AG publishes audited Group figures for 2018 and medium-term outlook up to 2022
DGAP-News: SFC Energy AG / Key word(s): Annual Results
SFC Energy AG - Corporate News
o Sales rose by 13.7% to EUR 61.70 million (2017: EUR 54.29 million)
o EBITDA underlying more than doubled to EUR 3.71 million (2017: EUR 1.45 million)
o EBIT of EUR 1.33 million positive for the first time (2017: minus EUR 0.89 million)
- Outlook for 2019: Consolidated sales between EUR 67 million and EUR 74 million, EBITDA underlying from EUR 4.5 million to EUR 7 million and EBIT underlying from EUR 3.5 million to EUR 6 million
The Group generated the highest sales in the company's history in the year under review - EUR 61.70 million after EUR 54.29 million in the prior year. This corresponds to an increase of 13.7%. The positive performance was largely thanks to the robust growth in the Oil & Gas, Industry and Defense & Security core markets.
Performance by segment
SFC Energy's Oil & Gas segment, currently SFC Energy's largest segment, benefited in the year under review from increasing investment activity in the oil and gas industry and from new business as a result of the recovery in oil prices. Particularly strong growth of around 60% was achieved in high-margin business with EFOY applications. The regional expansion of business into the USA, which began in 2018, is beginning to bear fruit with cooperation agreements and pilot orders. This initiative will remain a central element of the growth strategy in 2019. While order intake from the end of October to the end of November 2018 was temporarily weak due to a short-term decline in oil prices, orders from existing and new customers picked up again during December and led to the best fourth quarter in this segment. Sales increased by 6.4% from EUR 24.46 million in the prior year to EUR 26.03 million in 2018, currency-adjusted even by 11%.
In 2018, the Industry segment recorded growth of 7.3% from EUR 15.21 million in the prior year to EUR 16.31 million. This increase was chiefly due to stronger demand from both new and existing customers. In the year under review, the further relocation of production capacity to the plant in Cluj, Romania was completed at the end of the third quarter of 2018. The focus is on improving margins on both the purchasing and sales side while at the same time scaling sales based on the High Power Standard Platform technology.
The Defense & Security segment, traditionally a year-end business, doubled its sales from EUR 4.83 million in the prior year to EUR 10.01 million in 2018. Above all new national programs and several follow-up orders contributed to the dynamic development, as did new international orders. The drivers are the changing geopolitical situation as well as the digitization of the battlefield and the need for weight reduction in the equipment of vehicles and soldiers in the field. The increasing number of technical devices requires reliable and flexible power supply solutions. We were the first company in the world to establish the fuel cell as an efficient and durable energy source in these markets. In particular, the portable SFC fuel cell JENNY for field missions and the compact EMILY 3000 for stationary, mobile and vehicle-based applications, e.g. in surveillance and communications technology, are in demand by a steadily increasing number of units.
As expected, the Clean Energy & Mobility segment's sales of EUR 9.35 million in the year under review were 4.6% down on the prior year's level of EUR 9.80 million. This was attributable to a major order from Singapore in the first quarter of 2017. However, the backlog steadily decreased during the calendar year. Not including sales from Singapore, the Industrial Applications sub-segment recorded an increase of 15%, especially for civil security applications and in the wind industry. The partnership in China with Beijing Green Century Technologies generated the first pilot orders from China. The company is an established market leader in the field of power and other electronic component solutions for the wind and solar industries as well as for electromobility, the rail sector and telecommunications. SFC Energy's international expansion strategy in this area will be supported by Beijing Green Century Technologies' extensive distribution network and good networking within the industry.
Gross profit rose significantly to EUR 21.08 million (34.2%) in the 2018 financial year (prior year: EUR 17.73 million, 32.6%). The improvement in the gross margin is mainly attributable to the Oil & Gas segment. Here, an increase to 28.2% was achieved. The margin contribution in the "Defense & Security" segment improved by EUR 2.56 million. Overall, gross profit saw an increase of EUR 3.35 million year-on-year.
EBITDA for the Group improved significantly from EUR 0.86 million in the prior year to EUR 2.48 million in the reporting period. The EBITDA margin in relation to sales increased from 1.6% to 4.0%. EBITDA adjusted for non-recurring effects rose sharply to EUR 3.71 million (prior year: EUR1.45 million). EBIT for the Group improved significantly in the 2018 financial year from minus EUR 0.89 million in the prior year to plus EUR 1.33 million. Taking non-recurring effects into account, adjusted EBIT in the year under review amounted to EUR 2.55 million (prior year: EUR 0.18 million). Consolidated net income improved in the 2018 financial year to minus EUR 0.00 million from minus EUR 2.07 million in the previous year. Earnings per share in accordance with IFRS (undiluted and diluted) improved accordingly to minus EUR0.00 (prior year: minus EUR 0.23).
Available cash and cash equivalents climbed to EUR 7.52 million as of December 31, 2018 (December 31, 2017: EUR4.41 million). This resulted mainly from positive cash flow from operating activities of EUR 2.01 million and cash inflow from financing activities of EUR 3.48 million. In the year under review, the company received cash from the proceeds of a capital increase of EUR 4.22 million. In the year under review, the equity ratio increased due to the financing measures to 43.3% (prior year: 40.2%). As of December 31, 2018, SFC Energy had 279 permanent employees (December 31, 2017: 258).
"In 2018 as a whole, we achieved a new record level of sales and have moved into the profit zone on a sustained basis. We are the world's first profitable fuel cell manufacturer and in the past fiscal year we succeeded in reaching important milestones on our growth path and are now also penetrating the vital hydrogen technology market. The momentum of the past year continues unabated at the beginning of the current financial year. We are paying particular attention to the area of hydrogen-powered products and to regional expansion with a focus on the important markets of the USA, India and China. Against this background, we are feeling very positive about the current financial year. With technology and quality leadership as well as a focused hybrid product strategy, we have created added value for our customers in recent years with EFOY fuel cell system solutions under difficult environmental conditions.
"Driven by decisive changes in the social and political environment, we are experiencing a true "renaissance" of the fuel cell," says Dr. Peter Podesser. Major macro trends, such as the reduction of CO2 emissions, decentralization of energy supply combined with advancing digitalization, are favouring and boosting the demand for fuel cells. This clean and efficient way of generating electrical energy is again perceived and taken seriously as a valid alternative to conventional energy generation technologies. In large parts of the world, drastic decarbonization is recognized as a major priority by society and politics and is being translated into more and more concrete legal and regulatory measures.
Against the background of these results in 2018, the marked rise in market and investor interest in SFC Energy AG and in order to make optimum use of the substantial market and growth potential throughout the world, the Management Board, in consultation with the core shareholders and with the approval of the Supervisory Board, have initiated a process to examine and prepare possible strategic options for the Company's future development and growth. The management's objectives are a consistent regional expansion of business activities with a particular focus on the USA and China, as well as the rapid development of the hydrogen fuel cell business. Add-on acquisitions will also be evaluated. Strategic options explicitly include exploring the markets to attract new, medium-term strategically oriented investors and capital measures. The options can range from the integration of long-term strategic investors to a possible capital increase by issuing new shares on the capital markets. For the latter option, SFC Energy has mandated ABN AMRO Bank N.V. and COMMERZBANK Aktiengesellschaft.
SFC Energy AG'S annual report for 2018 is available for download at https://www.sfc.com/en/investors/finance/.
This release neither constitutes an offer to purchase, or to sell, or to subscribe, nor an invitation to purchase or subscribe any securities.
25.03.2019 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.