This hit the 2019 company results hard. “There is no way to gloss over the fact that our 2019 annual result is disappointing,” he said. “In the 2019 reporting year, Meyer Burger recorded incoming orders of CHF 188.3 million ($188m), representing a decline of about 24% on a comparable basis, i.e. adjusted for divestments and currency effects. This decline reflects the difficult market environment due to stronger Chinese competition as well as the objectives of the Chinese government related to its “Made in China 2025” strategic plan.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the risks of relying on Chinese manufacturing, he says. “The current crisis is highlighting the risks associated with unilateral dependence on China as a production location. Currently, about 80% of global production capacity for solar cells and solar modules is in China. I am assuming we will see increased expansion of cell and module production capacity in Europe and North America in the future,” he said.
The strategic realignment is also associated with changes in leadership. As part of a deal with investors, the former CEO Hans Brändle resigned in March, with chief operating officer and chief technology officer Gunter Erfurt taking over with a leading role in overseeing the set-up of the own cell and module production facilities.
Lütolf stepped down as chairman at an ordinary general meeting held yesterday, which also saw Mark Kerekes from Sentis Capital PPC and Urs Fähndrich from Elysium Capital AG join the Board of Directors as shareholder representatives “in the interest of investor involvement.”