- Strong fourth quarter leads to solid business development
SFC Energy AG publishes preliminary consolidated figures, guidance 2021 and new strategic medium-term planning 2025
– Strong fourth quarter leads to solid business development despite COVID-19 / Accelerated growth plan foresees above-average sales growth to between € 350 and € 400 million by 2025
– Preliminary 2020 consolidated sales of € 53.2 million (2019: € 58.5 million, -9.1%) in line with expectations – strong fourth quarter of € 14.0 million vs. € 14.8 million prior year period despite COVID-19
– Preliminary 2020 underlying EBITDA at € 2.9 million (2019: € 3.6 million) at the upper end of expectations
– Clean Energy & Mobility segment with strong revenue growth of 61.6% due to accelerated growth in civil fuel cell business
– COVID-19 impact on sales in the Oil & Gas (-19.6%), Industry (-21.2%), and Defense & Security (-60.6%) segments – Guidance for 2021: Consolidated sales between € 61 and € 70 million, underlying EBITDA between € 3.5 to 6 million and underlying EBIT between € -0.9 to 1.6 million
– Strategic medium-term planning until 2025: Significant organic and inorganic sales growth of up to € 350 to 400 million, above-average growth stimulus from hydrogen fuel cell business as replacement of conventional (diesel) generators
Brunnthal / Munich, Germany– – SFC Energy AG (F3C: DE, ISIN: DE0007568578), a leading provider of hydrogen and methanol fuel cells for stationary and mobile hybrid power solutions, today announces its preliminary financial results for 2020, the guidance for the current financial year 2021 and a strategic medium-term planning for 2025. Management Board Report Dr. Peter Podesser, CEO of SFC Energy AG: “With the expected significant upturn in business in the fourth quarter and continued high demand in the Clean Energy & Mobility segment, we overall succeeded with a solid business performance in the highly challenging financial year 2020, which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Positive impulses was provided by a regionally broad, unprecedented momentum in demand for methanol and hydrogen fuel cells for civil applications.
The call-off order from our partner adKor for EFOY Jupiter hydrogen fuel cells as back-up power source for the digital public radio network ( BOSNet) is representative of this.
At the same time, we succeeded in taking further steps to expand the hydrogen and methanol fuel cell business internationally. In this context, our cooperation and exclusive distribution agreement for hydrogen and methanol fuel cells with Toyota Tsusho in the Japanese market is exemplary. It is the clearly formulated intention of both partners to intensify the cooperation quickly and sustainably and to further bundle competencies. Currently, both partners are in advanced negotiations to expand their sales activities to other country markets in Asia.
Together with VINCORION, the mechatronics manufacturer of the technology group JENOPTIK, we are developing the sustainable and portable energy management system P2M2. Also, our collaboration with the electric boat engine manufacturer ePropulsion demonstrates the versatility of our EFOY fuel cell series for the end consumer sector. In September 2020, we presented the new and fifth generation of the EFOY fuel cell and the corresponding EFOY lithium battery at the Caravan Salon Düsseldorf. Recently, this EFOY Hybrid Power package was awarded the European Innovation Award.
Hydrogen and fuel cell technology are key technologies for the successful completion of the energy transition. By replacing conventional (diesel) generators in stationary and off-grid energy supply, we are already supporting numerous user industries in their activities towards a more sustainable energy supply and are thus paving the way for a low-carbon society.”
Sales and earnings development
After preliminary consolidation, the Group generated consolidated sales of €53.2 million in the 2020 financial year (2019: €58.5 million). With a decline in consolidated sales of around 9.1%, the development in the challenging COVID-19 environment was in line with expectations. According to preliminary figures, the fourth quarter of 2020 was only 5.0% below the previous year’s level (2019: €14.8 million) with consolidated revenue of €14.0 million, despite COVID-19, and again showed significant growth across all segments compared to the second and third quarters of 2020.
According to preliminary calculations, underlying EBITDA amounted to €2.9 million in the reporting year (2019: €3.6 million) and thus at the upper end of management’s expectations. The preliminary underlying EBIT amounted to minus k€579 in 2020 compared to k€284 in the previous year.
The segments of SFC Energy AG showed a heterogeneous development over the course of the year.
The Clean Energy & Mobility segment proved to be extremely robust, pandemic-resilient and was characterized by dynamic growth (+61.6%) in the reporting year. The first weeks of the 2021 business year have also shown continuous strong demand, both internationally and across the various fields of application.
By contrast, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant negative impact on sales in the Oil & Gas (-19.6%), Industry (-21.2%) and Defense & Security (-60.6%) segments. Shutdown measures and especially the hard lockdowns in various regions had the strongest impact on contract awards in the international defence business.
According to preliminary calculations, the Clean Energy & Mobility segment generated strong year-on-year growth of +61.6% (2020: €19.0 million / 2019: €11.8 million) with a stable gross margin. This positive development was driven by a high demand for fuel cells, particularly for industrial, stationary applications in Europe, North America and Asia.
According to preliminary figures, sales in the Oil & Gas segment in the reporting year were 19.6% below the previous year (2020: €17.7 million / 2019: €22.0 million) due to the demand situation, which was strongly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the financial year 2021, there are already signs of an increasing revival of business for customers in the oil and gas industry. In the current financial year, the strategic focus will be on further expanding business outside the oil and gas industry in Canada and the USA in order to further reduce dependence on the Canadian oil and gas business in the long term.
In the Industry segment, reduced call-off orders and postponements of investment decisions on the part of customers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a decline in sales development. In particular, the pandemic containment measures, such as travel and assembly restrictions, hampered both sales activities and on-site installations of applications at customers’ premises. According to preliminary calculations, sales in the reporting year 2020 declined by 21.2% to €13.6 million after €17.2 million in the previous year. However, the already anticipated recovery showed a strong upturn in the fourth quarter of the 2020 financial year. Customers have now adapted to the environmental conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. SFC Energy AG expects significant growth in the Industry segment from the first quarter of 2021.
Business in the Defence & Security segment was significantly burdened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic due to particularly restrictive lockdown measures in the international core markets such as Israel and India, as well as the partial standstill or considerable delays in the awarding of contracts by government procurement agencies. According to preliminary calculations, this led to a considerable decline in sales of 60.6% to €3.0 million in the reporting year 2020, compared to €7.6 million in the previous year.
The easing of lockdown measures in key markets is facilitating sales activities and increasing customers’ tendency to invest locally. In Europe, customer activity is already high in this early phase of the current financial year 2021. Overall, this results in positive growth expectations based on a broad international customer base.
Dr. Peter Podesser, CEO of SFC Energy AG: “Even though 2020 was a crisis year from an economic point of view and Corona is still rampant, we are satisfied with the overall business development. With ‘Fit for the Future’, we rolled out a comprehensive programme of measures last year, which now creates the basis to be able to act even stronger and more efficiently after the COVID-19 pandemic. The environment for our technology has never been as positive as it is today. We intend to extend our lead in product maturity and market access and will accelerate key future topics such as the development of the new generation of hydrogen fuel cells and evaluate complementary technologies such as electrolysis for on-site production of ‘green hydrogen’.”
For the current financial year 2021, the Management Board expects organic growth and consolidated sales between €61 and €70 million. In this context, an increase in profitability with an underlying EBITDA between €3.5 million to €6 million and an underlying EBIT between €-0.9 million to €1.6 million is targeted.
Strategic medium-term planning 2025
According to a study by the consulting firm Roland Berger, European companies are forecasted to generate sales of up to €65 bn in Europe and another €65 bn in the global markets for hydrogen and fuel cells in 2030. In view of these enormous growth opportunities for hydrogen and fuel cells, combined with extensive government investment programmes worldwide in this technology, the Management Board of SFC Energy AG revised and restated its strategic medium-term planning in recent months.
The accelerated growth plan foresees organic and inorganic sales growth up to €350 million to €400 million by 2025, as well as an expansion of the EBITDA margin to above 15%. These assumptions are based on the extremely dynamic development of global demand for hydrogen and methanol fuel cells in stationary applications.
Worldwide, the importance of environmentally friendly energy sources continues to grow enormously, both socially and politically. Fuel cells by SFC Energy AG are an integral part of sustainable decentralised energy solutions, replacing conventional (diesel) generators. From industrial, public and private applications to emergency power supply of critical infrastructures, telecommunication, new autonomous mobility concepts or the advancing digitization – the fuel cell is a key technology for generating electrical energy in an efficient and sustainable way. As a fuel cell pioneer with about 50,000 fuel cells sold worldwide, totalling more than 100 million operating hours, SFC Energy AG is one of the few players in the market with a high level of industrial experience and technological expertise. The national hydrogen initiative in Germany and the associated government investment incentives worth €9 billion, but also the broad-based European hydrogen initiatives and support programmes, represent a great opportunity for enormous growth of the SFC Energy group of companies. SFC Energy AG positioned itself in this dynamically growing market at an early stage and is one of the first companies worldwide fully capable of providing industrially proven products to a steadily growing number of user industries. The use of established market access as well as new fields of application are just as much part of the accelerated growth strategy as strategic acquisitions and the expansion of regional partnerships. SFC Energy AG therefore expects to benefit disproportionately from the high momentum overall and to grow faster than the market as a whole.
Detailed financial information
The figures given in this announcement are preliminary and have not been audited. SFC Energy AG will publish the final figures for the 2020 financial year along with the 2020 Annual Report on March 25, 2021.
SFC Energy AG will hold a conference call in English for interested investors, analysts and members of the media at 9:00 a.m. today, February 15, 2021.
To register, please send an e-mail to [email protected].
About SFC Energy Group
SFC Energy AG is a leading provider of hydrogen and direct methanol fuel cells for stationary and mobile hybrid power solutions. With around 50,000 fuel cells sold worldwide, SFC Energy is a sustainably profitable fuel cell producer. The Company has award-winning products and serves a range of applications in Clean Energy & Mobility, Defense & Security, Oil & Gas and Industry markets. The Company is headquartered in Brunnthal/Munich, Germany, operates production facilities in the Netherlands, Romania, and Canada. SFC Energy AG is listed on the Deutsche Boerse Prime Standard (GSIN: 756857, ISIN: DE0007568578).