09 Nov 2017, Investors
2017 Outlook: Management Board confirms the revenue forecast of €50 million to €55 million with profitability significantly improved over the prior year
Brunnthal/Munich, November 9, 2017 – SFC Energy AG (ISIN: DE0007568578), a leading international supplier of stationary and mobile hybrid-power supply solutions on the basis of fuel cells, today published its figures for the third quarter of 2017.
Dr. Peter Podesser, CEO of SFC Energy AG, commented: "We were very satisfied with the third quarter. It is obvious that awareness of clean, powerful energy sources is growing. In this connection, fuel cells are becoming much more important, on a broad basis. We experienced positive trends and robust growth in all our markets (Oil &Gas, Industry, Defense and Government) during the reporting period. As geopolitical developments intensified, demand increased in the Defense industry. Our business was up 23.9% in the nine-month period – particularly as a result of positive momentum internationally. Oil prices, which remained stable in comparison with the prior year (USD 51.70 per WTI barrel at the end of September 2017), had a positive impact on the mood in the Oil & Gas industry. We are particularly pleased to report that in addition to a noticeable increase in our day-to-day business, we have also generated more new projects with new and existing customers. The positive results in Industry are attributable to the strong performance of our subsidiary PBF, which was also highly successful in attracting new customers. The trend in the field of government applications was similar, resulting in 44.4% growth. The strongest demand was for dependable off-grid power for image recognition systems from business partners in the UK, Singapore and Germany."
"Overall, given our most recent figures, we are on the way to considerably improved profitability in the group, having increased our gross margin by 5.6% over the nine months, from 28.7% to 30.3%. The elimination of low-margin products in the Oil & Gas industry in Q1 2017 made significant contributions in this regard. Other actions taken included adjusting our prices and revising our product mix, and these actions have now started to pay off in the third quarter," Dr. Podesser indicated.
In the period from January to September 2017, the SFC Energy Group generated sales of €39,366k, a significant 25.5% increase over the previous year’s figure of €31,360k. This was due to the positive business trend in the Oil & Gas and Security & Industry segments. In addition, the usual seasonality was more than offset by strong business figures. The picture is now very consistent, driven by a positive market environment in all customer markets.
|Segment in €k||Q1 – Q3/2017||Q1 Q3/2016|
|Oil & Gas||18.244||13.970|
|Security & Defense||18.498||14.536|
In the first nine months of 2017, the oil price stabilized in a narrower range. During this period, the price of American WTI crude oil ranged between USD 48 and 53 and the price of North Sea Brent between USD 50 and 56, with a slight drop in the summer months for both varieties. This stability is also reflected in the nine-month performance. SFC Energy not only increased its day-to-day business, but also won several major new projects, including projects for two major Canadian oil and gas producers.
In this positive market environment, the Oil & Gas segment recorded significant sales growth of 30.6% in the period under review compared with the first nine months of 2016, while in the period from January to September 2017, sales in the Oil & Gas segment rose to €18,244k (prior year: €13,970k). Comparing the same product offering (after eliminating a low-margin product line discontinued at the beginning of the year), growth in this segment is even higher at approx. 66%, from €10,855k to €18,038k.
The Security & Industry segment increased sales in the first nine months of 2017 by 27.3% to €18,498k (prior year: €14,536k). The SFC Group recorded significant growth in all sub-markets of the Security & Industry segment, both in the third quarter and in the first nine months of 2017. While the positive trend of the first half of the year continued in the civil fuel cell business (up 44.4%) and in the power electronics business (PBF) (up 21.8%), the Defense segment grew by 23.9%.
Both the existing and new customer business at SFC and PBF continue to show robust growth. In the context of the globalization of defense activities, our successful entry into the British market with partners Zero Alpha and Polaris Defense as vehicle suppliers and the new distribution partnership with AITIC for the US armed forces deserve special mention.
Sales in the consumer segment fell by 8.0% to €2,624k in the reporting period due to a slight change in user behavior, compared with €2,853k in the previous year. However, the important trade fairs in the caravaning sector underscore the overall positive economic momentum, so that sales for the year 2017 as a whole are expected to remain at roughly the same level as in the previous year. Although the consumer segment is no longer as important as it was in the past due to the size of its sales, every effort is being made to reach the previous year’s level.
The profitability of the SFC Energy Group improved considerably year-on-year in the first nine months of the year. Due to the changed product mix, the gross margin increased to 30.3% in the reporting period (previous year: 28.7%).
EBITDA improved significantly in the first nine months of 2017 to minus €275k, as compared with minus €2,696k in the prior year period. Adjusted for nonrecurring effects, EBITDA amounted to minus €28k (prior year: minus €2,847k).
EBIT in the first three quarters of the current financial year amounted to minus €1,725k, after minus €4,400k in the corresponding period of the previous year. Adjusted for nonrecurring effects, EBIT in the period under review was minus €1,005k (previous year: minus €3,795k).
Consolidated net income for the period after taxes improved in the first nine months of 2017 to minus €2,431k, compared to minus €4,590k in the same period of the previous year. In the 2017 reporting period, earnings per share in accordance with IFRS were minus €0.27 (basic and diluted). In comparison, earnings per share in the same period of the previous year were minus €0.53 (basic).
The amount of unrestricted cash and cash equivalents increased to €2,799k at September 30, 2017 (December 31, 2016: €1,756k). The equity ratio at the end of the third quarter of 2017 was 33.0% (December 31, 2016: 39.5%).
On the basis of the encouraging performance in the third quarter, the Management Board of SFC Energy AG confirms its sales forecast for the current fiscal year in the amount of €50 million to €55 million. The Management Board expects a significant improvement in profitability compared to the previous year. It should be noted that an average CAD/EUR exchange rate of 1.50 was used for sales and earnings planning for 2017.
CEO Dr. Peter Podesser comments: "The road has been paved for a successful fourth quarter. The aim is to position SFC Energy more profitably on an ongoing basis with significant growth – just as we have already succeeded in the past quarters with increasing success. Over the past three quarters, business with our EFOY fuel cell, e.g. in the Oil & Gas sector, grew by around 60%. We expect demand to continue to be dynamic in the fourth quarter. The Defense & Security and Oil & Gas markets should contribute to this momentum – traditionally, these are businesses that pick up again towards the end of the year. As a result, increasing order intake will boost the start of the new financial year."
|In €k||1/1 – 9/302017||1/1 – 9/30/2016|
|Gross margin||30,3 %||28,7 %|
|EBITDA margin||-0,7 %||-8,6 %|
|Underlying EBITDA margin||-0,1 %||-9,1 %|
|EBIT margin||-4,4%||-14,0 %|
|Underlying EBIT margin||-2,6 %||-12,1 %|
|Loss for the period||-2.431||-4.590|
SFC Energy AG’s entire report on the third quarter of 2017 can be downloaded from the following site: Financial reports.
For interested investors and press representatives, SFC Energy AG will hold a conference call in English at 9:00 a.m. on November 9, 2017. For registration please send an e-mail to [email protected].
SFC Energy AG (www.sfc.com) is a leading provider of hybrid solutions to the stationary and portable power generation markets. SFC is a major supplier of methanol fuel cells, with over 40,000 methanol fuel cells sold to date. The Company has award-winning products and serves a range of applications in the Oil and Gas, Security and Industry, and Consumer markets. The Company is headquartered in Brunnthal/Munich, Germany, operates production facilities in the Netherlands, Romania, and Canada. SFC Energy AG is listed on the Deutsche Boerse Prime Standard ((GSIN: 756857 ISIN: DE0007568578).