SFC Energy AG reports strong operational growth in first half of 2021 - Best first half-year in the company's history
DGAP-News: SFC Energy AG
/ Key word(s): Half Year Results/Half Year Report
SFC Energy AG - Corporate News
- Significant improvement in profitability - EBITDA underlying nearly triples to EUR 3,441k (H1/2020: EUR 1,239k)
- Group sales up 12.3% to EUR 31,132k (H1/2020: EUR 27,710k)
- Order backlog up 73.0% to EUR 17,091k compared to Dec 31, 2020 (EUR 9,881k)
- Fully on track for growth both in 2021 and in the medium term through further expansion of international partnerships and regional rollout
"We recorded the best half-year in company history. We continued the strong momentum of the first quarter, growing strongly in operational terms and nearly tripling our profitability at the EBITDA underlying level. This success is the result of tireless innovation and dedication by the entire SFC Energy team. As a pioneer in fuel cell technology, we have been consistently investing in the performance and quality of our products for more than 20 years and are rapidly applying the experience gained in the various end markets to our innovation cycles. At the same time, we are constantly focusing on establishing and expanding new market access worldwide through partnerships and direct sales work across user industries. Hydrogen and fuel cells are moving into the focus of society, politicians and companies as core technologies with which we can meet the challenges of climate change. Against the backdrop of the most recent alarming findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the path to climate neutrality, our ability and willingness to make a concrete contribution to achieving the climate targets faster is all the more important today.
As an international leader in fuel cells, we have a special responsibility in this regard, which we assume with determination. We support our customers in meeting their requirements for a modern and environmentally friendly stationary energy supply. Whether it's clean and efficient power for motorhomes, sailboats or tiny houses or large industrial applications such as the replacement of emergency back-up diesel engines, critical infrastructures in the telecommunications sector, and smart traffic systems, we offer market-proven fuel cell solutions with the experience of more than two decades. New partnerships such as the one with Jenoptik or the latest one with Nel, as well as large individual orders underscore this development, which we anticipated at an early stage. In the United States, we managed to secure the largest local order in the company's history. In Japan, Toyota Tsusho ordered 135 EFOY fuel cell systems for smart traffic applications. In India, we are supporting our customers with EFOY fuel cells for off-grid applications in solar hybrid microgrids. The breadth of the various applications clearly demonstrates the stability and resilience of our business model and the huge market opportunities that we intend to and will continue to leverage," said Dr. Peter Podesser, CEO of SFC Energy AG.
The Group generated sales growth of 12.3% to EUR 31,132k in the first half of 2021 (January 1 to June 30, 2021) (H1/2020: EUR 27,710k). This positive development results from organic revenue growth in both segments, Clean Energy and Clean Power Management. In the second quarter of 2021, sales were 22.1% above the prior-year quarter.
Development of the segments
Clean Energy realized sales growth of 16.2% year-on-year to EUR 19,356k in the first half of 2021 (H1/2020: EUR 16,652k) and remained the segment with the highest sales, accounting for 62.2% of total Group sales. The segment's sales performance benefited in particular from the continued increase in demand for methanol and hydrogen fuel cells, both from consumer and industrial customers. In the second quarter, sales growth even accelerated by 33.1% to EUR 9,285k compared to EUR 6,977k in the second quarter of 2020. Consumer applications showed particularly strong year-on-year growth of 55% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period of the previous year. This was largely due to the new EFOY fuel cell generation launched in September 2020 and the continued high demand for motorhomes in Europe. Industrial applications continued their strong development as a result of sustained demand momentum, especially in the second quarter. Here, too, strong growth was recorded in both the first half and the second quarter. Demand from SFC's customers in the oil and gas industry was also significantly higher than the previous year's level. The industry is also focusing on sustainability, which, coupled with a rising oil price, ensured that the trend was reinforced. Whether for the emergency power supply of critical infrastructures, telecommunications, new mobility concepts, or further digitalization - the fuel cell is the key technology for a successful energy transition.
Clean Power Management
The Clean Power Management segment recorded sales growth of 6.5% to EUR 11,776k in the first half of 2021 (H1/2020: EUR 11,058k). This growth mainly resulted from the ongoing recovery in demand and good capacity utilization in all markets targeted by the segment. The Clean Power Management segment contributed 37.8% to total Group sales in the reporting period (previous year: 39.9%).
Gross profit increased significantly to EUR 11,187k in the first half of the year (H1/2020: EUR 8,777k). This pleasing development was attributable to organic sales growth and higher capacity utilization. The gross profit margin of the Group ("gross profit as a percentage of sales") resulting from the development of sales increased significantly to 35.9% in the reporting period (H1/2020: 31.7%). Both the Clean Energy and Clean Power Management segments reported a year-on-year increase in the gross profit margin.
The gross profit compared to the previous year for the individual segments is as follows:
The Group's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased to EUR -1,912k in the first half of 2021 (H1/2020: EUR -2,113k), but remained negative. This development is attributable to the significant negative impact on EBITDA of the non-recurring effect, which was high year-on-year and mainly resulted from the increase in provisions and the capital reserve for obligations under long-term variable remuneration programs in the form of SARs and stock option programs for the Management Board ("LTI programs"). This non-recurring effect amounted to EUR 5,656k in the reporting period (H1/2020: EUR 3,071k) and is included as an expense in EBIT and EBITDA.
EBITDA underlying for non-recurring effects, increased significantly in the first half of 2021 to EUR 3,441k (H1/2020: EUR 1,239k), with an increase of EUR 2,202k nearly tripled compared to the previous year's figure. The EBITDA underlying margin increased significantly to 11.1% (H1/2020: 4.5%).
The Group's earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) improved slightly in the reporting period to EUR -3,953k (H1/2020: EUR -4,000k). Although the EBIT margin (EBIT in relation to sales) improved as well to -12.7% (H1/2020: -14.4%), it remained negative due to the burdens from non-recurring effects.
EBIT adjusted for non-recurring effects amounted to EUR 1,400k and was thus considerably higher than the previous year's figure (H1/2020: EUR -647k). This resulted in a significant increase in the underlying EBIT margin of 4.5% (H1/2020: -2.3%).
For the first half of the year, the Group posted a net loss of EUR 4,379k (H1/2020: EUR 4,337k) for the period. Earnings per share according to IFRS improved to EUR -0.30 (H1/2020: EUR -0.33) due to the higher number of shares outstanding (basic and diluted).
Order intake increased in the reporting period and resulted in an order backlog of EUR 17,091k as of June 30, 2021 (H1/2020: EUR 12,451k). This equates to an increase of 73.0% compared to December 31, 2020 (EUR 9,881k). The strong order backlog, together with the continued broad regional demand that is not based on individual projects, forms the foundation for further growth expectations.
Cash flow from operating activities increased significantly in the first half of the year compared to the first half of last year to EUR 672k (H1/2020: EUR -862k). This positive development was mainly due to the significant increase in EBITDA underlying and operating profit before changes in net working capital.
The equity ratio was 58.0% as of June 30, 2021 (December 31, 2020: 63.5%). The decline of 5.5 percentage points results from the consolidated net loss for the period. Freely available cash and cash equivalents amounted to EUR 28,954k as of June 30, 2021 (December 31, 2020: EUR 31,464k). As of June 30, 2021, the SFC Energy Group had 282 permanent employees (December 31, 2020: 280).
The good capitalization and the overall solid balance sheet position put SFC in a position to continue to grow sustainably, to drive important product developments forward, and to tap into new market segments.
In light of the positive development in the first half of the year, the Management Board confirms its forecast for the current fiscal year 2021. For 2021, SFC expects Group sales to increase by 15% to 30% year-on-year to EUR 61,000k to EUR 70,000k. The Management Board expects positive growth contributions mainly from increasing demand for the new generation of methanol fuel cells as well as hydrogen fuel cells.
For fiscal year 2021, we expect EBITDA underlying to be in the range of EUR 4,750k to EUR 6,000k, supported by the positive development of demand in both segments and the slight expansion of margins. In line with the results achieved in the first half of the fiscal year and the expectations described above, we are concretizing EBIT underlying to a range of EUR 1,000k to EUR 1,600k.
Detailed financial information
The half-year report 2021 of SFC Energy AG is available for download at www.sfc.com.
SFC Energy AG will hold a conference call in English for interested investors and members of the press today, August 19, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. (CEST). Kindly send an email to [email protected] to register.
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19.08.2021 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.