Meyer Burger reports strong production and sales, but US$49.4 million losses in H1 2023

Meyer Burger reported 302W of new solar module production, but losses of US$49.4 million, in the first half of 2023. Credit: Meyer Burger

Swiss-headquartered solar module manufacturer Meyer Burger has published its financial results for the first half of 2023, reporting strong production figures of 302MW of new cell and module capacity, but total losses of US$49.4 million (CHF43.4 million).

The company’s cell and module production reached new highs in the first half of the year, with its 302MW of capacity almost exceeding the 321MW of capacity it added in the entirety of 2022. This helped drive sales of US$110.4 million (CHF96.9 million) in the first six months of 2023, a 70.8% increase over sales in the first half of the previous year.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

US expansion

The company’s leadership is also optimistic about its future in the US in particular, following its announcement of a new 2GW solar cell plant in Colorado last month, part of plans to expand its US production capacity to 5GW until 2029.

Meyer Burger expects this work, alongside the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which financially incentivises production of solar components in the US, to grant the company around US$1.7 billion (CHF1.4 billion) in potential tax benefits, which could drive improvements in earnings before inflation, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 25%.

“The plant will exclusively supply US-made solar cells to our solar module production facility in Goodyear, Arizona,” said Meyer Burger chair Dr Franz Richter in the announcement of the company’s half-year results. “Every day, the factory will produce 1.44 million high-efficiency heterojunction solar cells. For this expansion step, Meyer Burger was able to acquire a former semiconductor factory, which can be quickly equipped with our machinery.

“To this end, the next few quarters will see production equipment being diverted from Germany, shipped to the US, and installed with the aim of starting production at the end of 2024.”

European challenges

However, the company’s EBITDA fell from -US$27.7 million (-CHF24.4 million) to -US$49.4 million (-CHF43.4 million) between the first half of 2022 and the first half of 2023 as external conditions means the encouraging production figures have not translated to growth for the company.

“Although we maintained our prices at the beginning of the year, Meyer Burger also had to reduce prices relative to the market in the second quarter due to the general decline in solar module prices and had to provide its customers with contractually agreed credits from inventory protection clauses,” explained Richter.

“The global energy revolution is giving further impetus to renewable energies, especially in the solar sector,” added Richter, echoing concerns of China’s “anti-competition” practices mentioned in Meyer Burger’s reporting. “However, there is intense competition because Chinese suppliers are massively distorting the market in Europe with unsustainable dumping prices and a lack of market protection.”

While the significance of the import of Chinese modules on European solar prices is unclear, Europe is importing more Chinese-made modules than ever before, with research firm Rystad Energy expecting Europe to install 120GW of Chinese solar modules by the end of this year, a record figure.

Rystad also suggests that almost half of this imported capacity had been left in storage, raising the prospect of Europe importing more solar panels than it can currently use, significantly lowering Europe’s demand for new solar products, and further affecting prices.

Looking ahead

The company’s own expansion work has also cut into its profits, with Meyer Burger making a number of new investments into hiring and operating costs. The company reported that, between the first half of 2022 and the first half of 2023, personnel costs increased from around US$37.7 million (CHF33.2 million) to US$53.6 million (CHF47.2 million), while operating costs almost doubled from US$19 million (CHF16.7 million) to US$35.5 million (CHF31.2 million).

However, the company will be optimistic that these temporary increases in operating costs will translate to more module production, and more module sales, in the long-term, especially as it looks to shift the focus of its business away from Europe and towards the US, to avoid the potential consequences of large-scale Chinese imports.

“The implementation of the new solar cell production in the US is being driven forward with the highest priority and further multi-gigawatt offtake agreements in the US as well as the selection of another site for further production expansions are in progress,” said Richter.

“Meyer Burger is thus reacting consistently to the current market distortions in Europe and, until the market failure is cured, plans to further expand the company’s capacity under the industrially attractive and sustainable conditions in the US.”

27 June 2024
9am BST
FREE WEBINAR -This special webinar will take a deep dive into the latest PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings pyramid, capturing the relative bankability status of the top 70-80 PV module suppliers globally. In addition to revealing the latest ranking of global PV module suppliers, PV Tech’s Head of Research, Finlay Colville, will show the depth of analysis and commentary included within the report for module suppliers. A key output from the webinar will be to learn which PV module suppliers have moved up the rankings pyramid in recent years and why this growth has been achieved. Conversely, some of the companies that have fallen down the rankings will be discussed, in particular those suffering from market-share losses and financial problems.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
26 November 2024
Málaga, Spain
Understanding PV module supply to the European market in 2025. PV ModuleTech Europe 2024 is a two-day conference that tackles these challenges directly, with an agenda that addresses all aspects of module supplier selection; product availability, technology offerings, traceability of supply-chain, factory auditing, module testing and reliability, and company bankability.
11 March 2025
Frankfurt, Germany
The conference will gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

Read Next

June 13, 2024
US solar technology company Swift Solar has secured US$27 million to develop its perovskite tandem solar cell manufacturing.
June 13, 2024
PV Tech's coverage of the SNEC PV Power expo 2024. We are reporting live from the exhibition floor at the world's biggest PV trade show.
June 12, 2024
Burns & McDonnell has started construction on Consumers Energy’s 297MWdc/250MWac solar project in the US state of Michigan.
June 12, 2024
US renewables developer Origis Energy has commissioned the 200MW Escalante solar project in New Mexico alongside non-for-profit electricity utility Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.
June 12, 2024
The Casey Fork solar project in Jefferson County, Illinois, will bring RWE’s total renewables capacity in Illinois to 750MW

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece
Solar Media Events
July 9, 2024
Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia