Meyer Burger, a Switzerland-based engineering company, has unveiled its plans to enter the U.S. solar market, intending to start solar cell sales in the second half of 2021.
In June, the company decided to transform from being a supplier of production equipment to a technologically-leading manufacturer of solar cells and modules, based on its proprietary heterojunction and SmartWire Connection technologies.
The company will start producing solar cells and modules with an annual capacity of 400 MW each at its two facilities in Germany at the end of May 2021, Meyer Berger said in a statement. It will also recruit over 300 new employees at these two facilities.
It also has plans to raise 180 million Swiss Franc (CHF) ($194.01 million) by the start of 2022. With this fund, it aims to expand its production capacity to 1.4 GW of solar cells and 800 MW of solar modules by 2022.
With this expansion, the company is expected to enhance its annual sales to CHF 400 Million (~$430.33 million) – CHF 450 million (~$484.12 million) and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBIDTA) margin of 25-30% in 2023.
Meyer Berger will initially focus on the residential and small commercial rooftop segment of European solar markets like Germany, Switzerland, Austria. It will also market its modules in Italy, France, Poland, and the Nordic countries.
Moritz Borgmann, Managing Director of Meyer Burger, said, “We are receiving positive feedback on our premium product strategy. We are optimistic to quickly gain a significant market share in the premium rooftop segment.”
Financial results for 2020
Meyer Berger has reported a net loss of CHF 64.47 million ($69.30 million) in 2020, a 181% increase compared to a CHF 22.9 million (~$24.61 million) loss in 2019, following over a 65% decline in net sales to CHF 90.45 million (~$97.26 million) in 2020 from CHF 262 million (~$281.73 million) in 2019. The decline in net sales was due to the company’s ongoing strategic realignment.
The company’s EBIDTA turned negative during the year and stood at CHF 44.6 million (~$47.91 million) as the operating costs were no longer in line with its sales. EBIDTA was positive in 2019 at CHF 1.1 million (~$1.18 million).
At the end of 2020, the company’s cash and cash equivalent stood at CHF 139.7 million (~$149.91 million), following a capital increase with gross proceeds of CHF 165 million (~$177.12 million).
In January 2021, Meyer Burger received a €15 million (~$18.43 million) grant from the German state of Saxony-Anhalt and the Federal Republic of Germany to develop a heterojunction solar cell production facility in Thalheim.
Mercom had earlier reported that Meyer Burger secured new locations to set up its manufacturing facilities for the production of solar modules and solar cells. It paid €12 million (~$14.12 million) to purchase the facility from Solarworld Industries GmBH.
Harsh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.