Meyer Burger expects strong sales in 2010 through 2011

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With a string of large orders announced and major capacity expansion plans continuing in the wafering sector, Mayer Burger – not surprisingly – posted strong first-half financial results for 2010. Sales increased by 67% to CHF 356.9 million with organic growth of 36% compared to the same period in 2009. Growth from previous M&A activities was 31%. New order bookings for the first six months stood at CHF 590.1 million, pushing the order backlog to CHF 770.0 million. Meyer Burger expects full-year sales to reach CHF 730 million, highlighting the potential for strong results in 2011.

Group earnings were CHF 23.6 million, representing an increase of 95% compared with the previous year period. Meyer Burger also reported that its gross profit more than doubled in the first half of 2010 to CHF 164.9 million, compared with CHF 76.4 million in the same period last year. Gross margin rose to 46.2% versus 35.8% in the first half and 40.4% for the full year of 2009. The company said that the increase in gross margin was mainly due to high manufacturing volumes at its facility in Thun, Switzerland.

The company also noted that it was continuing to develop its diamond wire technology for wafering applications, and said that various tests were now running at customer sites, though mainly in Europe and the U.S. Diamond wire technology is claimed to reduce kerf loss, therefore lowering solar wafer production costs; however, the technology generates greater surface roughness than conventional wire cutting and slurry technologies.

The company anticipates completion of the merger of 3S by the end of 2010. Sales and support operations have merged and 3S’s module manufacturing equipment is now being offered in Asia.

Furthermore, a variety of cross-selling activities within the Group have led to joint customer contracts in the first half of 2010. The company placed particular emphasis on cross-selling for Meyer Burger’s cutting technologies in combination with Hennecke Systems’ measurement and inspection systems and between the module line companies Somont (stringer systems), 3S’s laminating lines and Pasan’s sun simulating systems.

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