Manz cites evaporating solar bookings as sales decline 23.1%

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A significant fall in orders and bookings within Manz's solar division were partially offset by increased business within its display division, the specialist equipment supplier has reported.

The company said that revenue for the first nine months of 2012 reached €147.7 million, compared with €192.0 million in the previous-year period, a 23.1% decline. The company reported negative earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of €3.5 million, compared to €3.8 million last year.

The solar division reported revenue of only €14.9 million, down significantly from €57.9 million in the same period a year ago. Manz noted that solar segment sales had made up 30.2% of total sales in the same period last year, while only reaching 10.7% in 2012.

The company noted in its nine month financial statement that solar segment sales had decline  four quarters in a row, despite the majority of its R&D spending having been focused on the solar segment. Manz noted that R&D spending reached 9.3% of total sales in the period covered. 

Dieter Manz, CEO of Manz AG said: “Over the last few years, we have successfully further developed our company from an automation specialist into a supplier of integrated production solutions. We have successfully diversified our business model with our strategic business units, display and battery. The positive order situation in both segments has allowed us to partly compensate the revenues and earnings declines in the solar segment. With an approximately 21% year-on-year revenue increase the display segment has developed very positively.”

CIGSfab sale delayed

As noted in its financial report, Manz had been negotiating with an unidentified customer the sale of its first turnkey CIGSfab production line, since acquiring the technology rights from Wurth Solar.

However, Manz noted that potential customers were impacted by financial constraints and so no deal is expected this year.

Financial guidance

Lower than expected new order intake (€34.2 million) and weakening end-market dynamics have meant the company no longer expects to meet its 2011 revenue levels of €240.5 million, though the company did not provide guidance for the full year.

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