Manz retains turnkey CIGS thin-film technology

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PV and electronics equipment manufacturing and automation specialist Manz AG has decided to keep its turnkey CIGS thin-film technology after almost a year of undertaking a strategic review, due to lack of orders.

PV and electronics equipment manufacturing and automation specialist Manz AG has decided to keep its turnkey CIGS thin-film technology after almost a year of undertaking a strategic review, due to lack of orders. 

In December, 2011 Manz signed an agreement to take over the CIGS innovation line from Würth Solar to enter the emerging CIGS thin-film market and further develop the technology and equipment as a turnkey solution. However, the interest from potential customers failed to materialise during a period of chronic overcapacity in the solar sector and plummeting prices of conventional silicon-based PV modules. 

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The decision to retain its CIGS technology is based on the potential to better penetrate the Chinese solar market via a 30% stake in Manz being offered to Shanghai Electric Co. 

Dieter Manz, CEO and founder of Manz AG said: “With Shanghai Electric, we have found a partner with long-term interests. This is documented in particular by the intended participating interest of around 30%. Our future Chinese partner thus will provide additional stability in the company as a financially strong anchor investor together with me as major shareholders. Currently the last official approvals are still pending, but we do not anticipate any surprises in this regard. Thus everything is going as planned.” 

Manz said it would further focus on the development and commercialisation of its CIGS technology. 

Manz reported revenue of €222 million in 2015, compared to €305.9 million in 2014, a 27.4% decline, due to order cancellations and order shipment delays in its Storage and Electronics divisions of around €140 million.

Financial results

Manz reported revenue of €222 million in 2015, compared to €305.9 million in 2014, a 27.4% decline, due to order cancellations and order shipment delays in its Storage and Electronics divisions of around €140 million. 

Earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), was negative €41.9 million, compared to €13.9 million in 2014. 

Solar segment sales, primarily manufacturing automation solutions were €20.8 million in 2015, up 51.8% (€13.7 million) from the previous year.

According to Manz, the positive industry outlook in its three strategic business segments with around €109.7 million in order backlog at the end of February, 2016 the company is expecting a significant increase in revenues for the full year, with a significantly improved EBIT. The goal of the company is to achieve at least a break-even EBITDA in 2016. 

Solar segment order backlog accounted for 5.6% (€6.14 million) of the total at the end of February, 2016. 

Solar segment order backlog accounted for 5.6% (€6.14 million) of the total at the end of February, 2016.

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