Brunnthal/Munich, May 7, 2018 – SFC Energy AG (ISIN: DE0007568578) a leading international supplier of stationary and mobile hybrid power generation plants based on fuel cells, today published its figures for the first quarter of 2018.
Dr. Peter Podesser, CEO of SFC Energy AG comments: “We have made an extremely good start to the current fiscal year with a record quarter. The jump in sales of 27.8%, the increase in gross margin to 35.2% (Q1/2017: 27.8%) and the significant increase in EBITDA to EUR 0.97 million (Q1/2017: minus EUR 0.33 million) and EBIT to EUR 0.70 million (Q1/2017: minus EUR 0.82 million) underscore a successful first quarter and the strength of our company in the dynamic environment for clean and off-grid energy supply. We are proud to be the first stockmarket listed fuel cell company in the world to operate profitably. We have taken the momentum of 2017 with us and see all our core markets shaped by robust growth. With the boom in growth in 2017, we have further refined and improved our corporate structures and adapted them to our markets. The business activities of SFC Energy AG are now divided into four segments: Clean Energy & Mobility, Defense & Security, Oil & Gas, and Industry. This segmentation highlights the importance of the individual segments, provides greater transparency and corresponds to the management structure of our Group. The new segmentation also reflects the successful business development in the markets for industrial fuel cells, industrial power electronics as well as defense and security businesses. The successful development in the first quarter of 2018 is mainly attributable to the Defense & Security and, to a lesser extent, the Oil & Gas segments. The significant increase in profitability in the reporting period is, on the one hand, the result of continuous improvement in the product mix and cost structure, and on the other hand, the delivery of the major order received in December 2017 from the German Bundeswehr.
SFC Energy AG made a dynamic start in to the fiscal year 2018. In the period from January to March 2018, the Group generated sales of EUR 16.76 million. Compared to the previous year’s figure of EUR 13.11 million, this corresponds to an increase in sales of 27.8%, which is attributable to strong growth in the Defense & Security and Oil & Gas segments in particular.
Sales by segment (unaudited)
|Segment in EUR thousand||Q1/2018||Q1/2017|
|Clean Energy & Mobility||2,352||3,209|
|Defense & Security||4,328||483|
|Oil & Gas||6,163||5,818|
Clean Energy & Mobility
Sales in the Clean Energy & Mobility segment decreased to EUR 2,352 thousand in the first quarter (previous year: EUR 3,209 thousand). This makes the Clean Energy & Mobility segment the only one of the four segments with a year-on-year decline in sales, attributable to a major order from Singapore, which was delivered in the first quarter of fiscal 2017. In addition to this one-off effect, SFC Energy sees a broad spectrum of orders reflecting the acceptance of the EFOY Pro product series. The regional expansion of the business and the focus on segments such as reliable power supply for civil security technology are having an effect.
Defense & Security
The defense and security markets, which are important for SFC Energy, again provided very positive contributions in the first quarter. Sales in the Defense & Security segment increased significantly to EUR 4,328 thousand in the reporting period, representing an nine-fold increase compared to EUR 483 thousand in the same quarter of the previous year. The significant increase in this segment is mainly due to the delivery of the EUR 3.6 million order from the German Bundeswehr, but also to the delivery of a final tranche of another order for security forces in India and a further order from Germany.
Oil & Gas
Growth in the Oil & Gas segment remained stable at around 6%. Investment activities in the oil and gas industry have returned to a significantly higher level as a result of the recovery in oil prices. Over the three-months period, the Oil & Gas segment recorded an increase to EUR 6,163 thousand (previous year: EUR 5,818 thousand). It is characterized by a rise in EFOY business and sales of SCADA products. The weakness of the CAD against the EUR had a negative impact.
The Industry segment increased sales in the first three months of 2018 by 9% to EUR 3,915 thousand (previous year: EUR 3,602 thousand). The growth in this area is the result of a healthy mix of new and existing customer business. The final phase of product transfer from Holland to SFC’s Cluj site in Romania was heralded here. Although one-off effects for severance payments and restructuring expenses of EUR 395 thousand will be incurred, the margin improvements achieved by this measure will exceed this amount within 18 months.
The profitability of the SFC Energy Group improved significantly year-on-year in the first quarter. The gross margin rose to 35.2% in the reporting period (previous year: 27.8%). The improvement in gross margin was mainly due to the Defense & Security and Oil & Gas segments.
EBITDA improved to EUR 973 thousand in the first three months of 2018, compared to minus EUR 333 thousand in the same period of the previous year. EBITDA adjusted for non-recurring effects amounted to EUR 1,818 thousand (previous year: minus EUR 313 thousand).
In the first three months of the current financial year, EBIT improved to EUR 705 thousand, compared to minus EUR 816 thousand in the same period of the previous year. EBIT adjusted for non-recurring effects came to EUR 1,550 thousand in the reporting period (previous year: minus EUR 614 thousand).
Consolidated net income after taxes improved to EUR 326 thousand in the first three months of 2018 compared to minus EUR 991 thousand in the same period of the previous year. Earnings per share (basic and diluted) in accordance with IFRS amounted to EUR 0.03 in the reporting period 2018, compared to minus EUR 0.11 in the same period of the previous year.
Cash and cash equivalents decreased to EUR 1.71 million as of March 31, 2018 (December 31, 2017: EUR 4.41 million). However, it should be noted that by the end of April 2018 they had already reached a level of around EUR 5.0 million again and were thus higher than at the end of 2017. The equity ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2018 was 38.3% (December 31, 2017: 40.2%).
For the current fiscal year, the Management Board of SFC Energy AG confirms its sales forecast of EUR 60-64 million with sustained profitability and a significant improvement in adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBIT.
CEO Dr. Peter Podesser comments: “The first quarter has laid the foundation for a promising financial year 2018. We use the growth impulses in the dynamic market for clean and powerful energy sources. The aim is to ensure that SFC Energy is sustainably profitable. We have successfully achieved this in the past three quarters. Despite usual seasonality in quarters 2 and 3 our confidence for 2018 is based on the continued high growth momentum in all our core markets. An order backlog of EUR 16.91 million at the end of the first quarter of 2018 will enable us to maintain our capacity utilization rate at a high level for the year as a whole.”
Key figures for 3 months Q1/2018
|In EUR thousand||1/1 – 31/3/2018||1/1 – 31/3/2017|
Detailed financial information
The complete interim statement for the first quarter of 2018 of SFC Energy AG is available for download at: www.sfc.com/en/investors/finance/. The 3-month figures are unaudited and have not been reviewed by an auditor.