SFC Smart Fuel Cell publishes half-year report for 2009

SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG / Half Year Results

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- As expected, H1/09 sales down 30.9% from H1/08 mainly driven by program     delays in the defense market
- Slight revenue increase of 3,2% in all segments other than defense     market
- Q2/09 sales in the A-Series segment up at EUR2,473k - plus 87.2% from     Q2/08
- Gross margin improved to 23.8% in H1/09 versus 20.6% in H1/08 - Daimler AG ordered EFOY fuel cells for use as auxiliary power units in     special-purpose vehicles
- U.S. Army awarded the anticipated follow-up order to SFC and DuPont     early in Q3/09

Brunnthal, July 30, 2009 - SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG, technology and market leader for mobile and off-grid power solutions based on fuel cells, generated sales of EUR5,666k in the first half of 2009, versus EUR8,203k in the first half of 2008, which corresponds to a decrease of 30.9%. Second-quarter sales amounted to EUR2,793k, compared with EUR3,597k in Q2/08 (minus 22.4%). The main revenue decrease occurred in the defense market, as orders for joint development agreements were postponed again in the second quarter. Extreme consumer reticence continues to dominate the volume market leisure but SFC, with sales down 10.5%, performed far better than the industry as a whole, which suffered a 24.2% drop in registrations for recreational vehicles in Europe and 19.1% in Germany. The company posted a 24.8% growth in the industry market despite general hesitation towards capital expenditures on the customer side. Revenues in all segments but the defense market increased by 3.2% in the first half of 2009 in comparison to previous year. In the second quarter the increase reached 73.9% due to growth in industry and mobility markets.
A total of 2,182 EFOY units were sold in the first six months of 2009, a decrease of 11.7% (H1/08: 2,472 units). Again, a decrease in the leisure market is partly offset by growth in the industry and mobility markets.
Despite the lower sales volume, gross margin for the reporting period climbed to 23.8% (H1/08: 20.6%) mainly due to continued product cost reduction efforts. Gross margin for Q2/09 was at 29.3% (Q2/08: 22.9%). Along with lower revenues, H1/09 EBIT fell to minus EUR2,378k, following minus EUR1,360k in the first half of 2008 (minus 74.9%). Second-quarter EBIT was at minus EUR1,203k (Q2/08: minus EUR949k). Net loss amounted to minus EUR1,915k for the first half (H1/08: minus EUR272k) and to minus EUR1,042k for Q2/09 (Q2/08: minus EUR419k).

Cash and cash equivalents increased to EUR43,059k as of June 30, 2009 (March 31, 2009: EUR42,470k). Strict working capital management practices, grants for development projects and tax refunds led to positive cash flow in the second quarter.

Early in July 2009, the U.S. Army awarded the anticipated order to DuPont and SFC regarding further development of the portable M25 fuel cell as a compact, lightweight and wearable power supply for soldiers. SFC's share of the project amounts to roughly two million U.S. dollars. With this project, SFC and DuPont continue their long-standing, successful cooperation to develop portable energy supply solutions for the Armed Forces.
Another highlight of the second quarter was Daimler AG's decision to sign a contract with SFC for the delivery of EFOY fuel cells. EFOY Pro 1600 systems will be installed as auxiliary power units (APU's) in Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans sold for professional use. As a result, there will be roughly 400 utility vehicles with an EFOY fuel cell on Germany's roads by the end of the year.

The Management Board formulated a cost-saving program in response to the current macroeconomic risks and lack of market transparency, reflecting the appropriate degree of caution. Several components of this program were already implemented in the second quarter. This initiative will result in significant savings across the entire organization. In some departments, reduced work hours were introduced in June, enabling the company to have maximum flexibility in capacity utilization.

For the 2009 business year the Management Board continues to aim for growth in the market for industrial applications. An important strategic goal is to broaden SFC's sales base in order to make the company less dependent on the distinctive seasonal and economic fluctuations of the leisure market. The results of the first half reflect ongoing delays in the award of defense contracts, and an expansion of business in the leisure market especially in the second quarter. The Management Board expects to stabilize sales in the leisure market, but offsetting the negative trend in the defense market seems unlikely, despite the recent major defense award. The current cost-saving program should contribute to stabilizing the operating result (EBIT) at its 2008 level.

The half-year report of SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG is available for download at www.sfc.com.

SFC Investor Relations: Barbara von Frankenberg - Head of Investor Relations and Public Relations - SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG - Eugen-Sänger-Ring 4 -D-85649 Brunnthal - Tel. +49 89 673 592-378 Fax +49 89 673 592-169 - E-mail: [email protected] Web: www.sfc.com

30.07.2009  Financial News transmitted by DGAP

Language:     English
Issuer:       SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG
              Eugen-Saenger-Ring 4
              85649 Brunnthal
Phone:        +49 (89) 673 592 - 100
Fax:          +49 (89) 673 592 - 169
E-mail:       [email protected]
Internet:     www.sfc.com
ISIN:         DE0007568578
WKN:          756857
Listed: Regulierter Markt in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Freiverkehr in Berlin, München, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart  
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