Falling orders drive Meyer Burger to first half loss

August 15, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
US tariffs and a worldwide glut of production equipment drive Meyer Burger to deeper loss in first half of year
US tariffs and a worldwide glut of production equipment drive Meyer Burger to deeper loss in first half of year

Meyer Burger Technology has confirmed falling orders for solar cell equipment in the first half of the year, hit by US tariffs and a surplus of production equipment and leading to a larger loss than this time last year

The solar panel business in China, the largest end customer, was week, and a global surplus in production capacity for multicrystalline wafers, cells and modules was accompanied by supply bottlenecks for high-efficiency monocrystalline panels. As a result cell and module manufacturers often postponed major investment decisions in new technologies.

However the medium and long-term growth outlook for the solar industry has continued to improve as concerns over climate change grow. Solar power is already the most affordable technology in many regions today. After a lull in growth during the last 12 months due to restructuring of funding for China’s solar market, significant double-digit expansion in global installed solar power output is now forecast to return, says Meyer Burger. It sees more than half of this capacity being installed outside China, with a signficant growth in local PV production.

"Against the backdrop of this slump in the market, we focused on implementing our strategic priorities: further developing our leading production solutions for heterojunction (HJT) and SmartWire Connection Technology (SWCT). The first manufacturing line will begin series production soon," said Hans Brändle, CEO of Meyer Burger.

"We believe the major market interest in our technology will translate into real orders. However, the significant decline and unattractive margins in standard PV business have prompted us to review the originally planned relocation of some of our production to China and to adapt our sales focus. We intend to concentrate our future PV business activities mainly at our largest location, Hohenstein-Ernstthal (Germany)."

Meyer Burger saw incoming orders of CHF 94.0m ($94m), compared to CHF 137.9m in H1 last year. Net sales dropped by almost half to CHF 122.6m compared to CHF 232.3million in H1 2018, adjusted

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