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SFC Energy AG Publishes Audited Group Figures for 2021 and Focuses on Another Record Year by Doubling Its Production

By March 17, 2022 11   min read  (1978 words)

March 17, 2022 |

Fuel Cells Works, SFC Energy AG Publishes Audited Group Figures for 2021 and Focuses on Another Record Year by Doubling Its Production

SFC Energy AG publishes audited Group figures for 2021 and focuses on another record year by doubling its production

  • Audited consolidated financial statements confirm preliminary figures published on February 14, 2022
  • Group sales up 20.9% to EUR 64.3 million at the upper end of the target corridor for 2021
  • Significant increase in the underlying EBITDA margin to 9.7% (2020: 5.5%)
  • Order backlog more than tripled to EUR 30.5 million as of the balance sheet date in 2021 (December 31, 2020: EUR 9.9 million) – Order intake of approx. EUR 34 million since beginning of the year
  • Short-term plans to double production capacity in Germany and set up a new production line for fuel cells at the site in Romania
  • Guidance for 2022: Sales growth to between EUR 75 million and EUR 83 million, underlying EBITDA to between EUR 6.0 million and EUR 9.1 million and underlying EBIT to between EUR 1.6 million and EUR 2.9 million

Brunnthal/Munich, Germany– Die SFC Energy AG (“SFC,” F3C:DE, ISIN: DE0007568578), a leading provider of hydrogen and methanol fuel cells for stationary and mobile hybrid power solutions, published its Annual Report and audited consolidated financial statements for 2021 today.

“We kept our promise to our shareholders and the capital market. We achieved all of our financial targets and important strategic milestones in the areas of technology and the regional expansion of our business. As a result, we close 2021 as the best fiscal year in the company’s history. The goal for the current year is now to exceed this. Throughout 2021, we saw strong stable demand for our fuel cell and power management solutions from all major user industries and across all our country markets. This trend has continued in the first months of 2022 with order momentum remaining strong. In this period, we have received approx EUR 34 million in new orders. This makes us feel confident for fiscal year 2022 and the medium-term targets we have communicated of EUR 350 million to EUR 400 million in sales with an underlying EBITDA margin of more than 15% by 2025. Due to the efforts of Germany and the European countries to become more independent of fossil raw materials in the energy supply, as well as the geopolitical development, we expect further impulses from the areas of environmentally friendly power generation and safety technology. We intend to accelerate our strong operating performance by doubling our production capacity in Germany and setting up a new production line for EFOY fuel cells at our site in Romania. In conjunction with our portfolio of innovative and environmentally friendly key technologies, we want to continue to grow more outside Europe,” said Dr. Peter Podesser, CEO of SFC Energy AG.

Development of sales

In fiscal year 2021, the SFC Energy Group generated significant sales growth of 20.9% to EUR 64,320k (2020: EUR 53,223k). This pleasing development in the challenging environment of the pandemic resulted from growth in both segments, but especially from the Clean Energy segment, which achieved a particularly strong increase in sales of 30.8% due to continued high demand for fuel cells.

Overall, Group sales in 2021 were thus at the upper end of the forecast range (EUR 61.0 million to EUR 65.0 million). Sales growth gained momentum again by 27.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021 to EUR 17,844k (Q4 2020: EUR 14,010k).

Sales by segments in EURk 2021 2020
Clean Energy 42,428 32,439
Clean Power Management 21,892 20,783
Total 64,320 53,223

Development of the segments

The dynamic development of the business in fiscal year 2021 reflects the unabated high demand for EFOY hydrogen and methanol fuel cells as well as power electronics products from SFC Energy AG.

The Clean Energy segment benefited from accelerated market growth and high demand in the reporting year. Sales increased by 30.8% to EUR 42,428k in 2021 compared to EUR 32,439k the previous year. Sales revenues rose in all three application areas for the segment’s fuel cell solutions. The strongest absolute contribution to growth came from business with industrial customers, where a number of significant initial and follow-up orders were acquired. Here, sales increased by 28.9% to EUR 22,170k (previous year: EUR 17,204k). Sales for applications in the government sector nearly doubled in the year under review, following low sales in the previous year due to the pandemic. This was due to the shipment of orders to the Swiss and Indian defense authorities. Sales to customers for private applications also increased by 17.4% compared to the previous year, particularly against the backdrop of the new EFOY fuel cell generation already launched in September 2020 and the continuing high demand for mobile homes in Europe. In addition, the increased contribution of the fuel cell business in the United States boosted growth. The largest US order in the company’s history from LiveView Technologies in 2021 was followed in March 2022 by another large-volume order from the same customer for fuel cells for use in civil surveillance technology. At 66.0% (previous year: 61.0%), the Clean Energy segment further expanded its share of total Group sales. In addition, the first months of the current fiscal year show a very dynamic international demand trend across all user industries. SFC Energy expects that the energy transition in many countries, the increasing switch to low-carbon power generation, and the increase in off-grid or grid-independent fields of application, will further increase the demand for fuel cell solutions in the future.

Sales in the Clean Power Management segment showed growth of 5.3% to EUR 21,892k in the reporting year (2020: EUR 20,783k). This growth was mainly based on recovering demand as a result of the gradually easing COVID-19 pandemic situation with current customers and the improved market environment and good capacity utilization in the segment’s target markets. In the new projects and new customers business, shifts in investment decisions and increasingly pandemic-related delivery delays for individual electronic components led to shifts in sales. Clean Power Management accounted for 34.0% of Group sales in the reporting year (previous year: 39.0%).

Order intake increased significantly to EUR 89,087k (2020: EUR 49,095k) due to the strong demand momentum in the reporting year. The order backlog more than tripled across all product areas to EUR 30,551k as of December 31, 2021 (December 31, 2020: EUR 9,881k).

Development of earnings

In the year under review, both the increased sales contribution from the higher-margin Clean Energy segment and the segment’s higher gross profit margin – due to good price penetration – led to a 26.4% increase in consolidated gross profit to EUR 22,638k (previous year: EUR 17,915k). The resulting gross profit margin of the Group (gross profit as a percentage of sales) improved to 35.2% (previous year: 33.7%).

The gross profit for the individual segments compared to the previous year is as follows:

Gross profit by segment in EURk 2021 2020
Clean Energy 17,011 12,481
Clean Power Management 5,627 5,435
Total 22,638 17,915

Underlying EBITDA, i.e. EBITDA adjusted for non-recurring effects, doubled to EUR 6,233k in the reporting year 2021 (2020: EUR 2,936k) and was thus within the target corridor of the forecast range (EUR 5.7 million to EUR 7.3 million). The underlying EBITDA margin increased significantly to 9.7% in 2021 (2020: 5.5%). The positive development is attributable to organic sales growth, continued good price penetration and an attractive product mix in favor of higher-margin products. Underlying EBIT, i.e. EBIT adjusted for non-recurring effects, increased significantly compared to the previous year to EUR 1,925k (2020: EUR -579k), which was also in line with expectations (EUR 1.6 million to EUR 3.1 million). This resulted in an underlying EBIT margin of 3.0% (2020: -1.1%). The reporting year closed with a consolidated net result for the period of EUR -5,829k (previous year: EUR -5,184k). Basic and diluted earnings per share according to IFRS amounted to EUR -0.40 in the reporting year 2021 (previous year: EUR -0.39).

Balance sheet

The equity ratio decreased to 57.3% in the reporting year (December 31, 2020: 63.5%). The net financial position (freely available cash and cash equivalents less liabilities to banks) decreased by EUR 5,027k to EUR 21,888k as of the balance sheet date in 2021 (December 31, 2020: EUR 26,915k). As of December 31, 2021, the SFC Energy Group had 288 permanent employees (December 31, 2020: 283).

Cash flow from operating activities before changes in net working capital and income taxes (operating result before changes in working capital) amounted to EUR 5,914k in the year under review (previous year: EUR 3,456k) and was thus significantly higher than in the previous year. After taking the change in net working capital into account, which increased by EUR 4,567k in the reporting year (previous year: EUR 3,893k) with an effect on liquidity, and income tax payments, cash flow from operating activities amounted to EUR 1,078k (previous year: EUR -595k). The main reason for this high increase was the extremely positive development of underlying EBITDA and operating cash flow before changes in net working capital and taxes.

Investment program

To accelerate growth and meet the strong demand for its products, SFC Energy is launching the most comprehensive investment program in company history. The volume amounts to more than EUR 8.5 million. The company is addressing the areas of production, research & development, and cybersecurity. As part of this investment program, production at the Brunnthal site will be doubled by the end of the year and an additional production line for fuel cells will be set up in Cluj, Romania. The output volume will thus increase from around 7,000 units to more than 20,000 units per year. Research and development activities are being expanded with a view to the next generations of hydrogen fuel cells and technologies. The focus is on expanding the cloud and IIoT functionalities of the EFOY product portfolio. Investments in the company’s cybersecurity systems and IT infrastructure round off the activities.

Guidance for 2022

Due to the positive development of the business in 2021, in which historic records were set in a challenging environment, as well as the strong order dynamics, the Management Board expects 2022 to also develop dynamically and is aiming for another record year. Therefore, Group sales for the current fiscal year are expected to be in a range of EUR 75 million to EUR 83 million. This represents growth in Group sales of between 17% and 29% compared to the previous year, which will be driven mainly by the Clean Energy segment.

Supported by the expected dynamic development of demand, but depending on the timing of the implementation of planned growth investments, the Management Board expects either a slight decline or a slight increase in margins for fiscal year 2022. Underlying EBITDA in fiscal year 2022 is thus expected to be between EUR 6.0 million and EUR 9.1 million (fiscal year 2021: EUR 6.2 million). Based on the planning of the Clean Energy and Clean Power Management segments, the Management Board expects underlying EBIT for the Group to be between EUR 1.6 million and EUR 2.9 million in 2022 (fiscal year 2021: EUR 1.9 million). This planning takes the growth investments in the expansion of production capacities in Germany, the construction of a new production line in Romania, investments for the further digitalization of business processes, including measures to increase IT security, as well as for the further development of the organization in view of the upcoming growth into account. Furthermore, SFC Energy also takes the uncertainties in the overall economic environment into account.

Key figures for 2021/2020

In EURk 01/01-12/31/2021 01/01-12/31/2020
Sales 64,320 53,223
Gross profit 22,638 17,915
Gross margin 35.2% 33.7%
EBITDA -797 -986
EBITDA margin -1.2% -1.9%
Underlying EBITDA 6,233 2,936
Underlying EBITDA margin 9.7% 5.5%
EBIT -5,105 -4,501
EBIT margin -7.9% -8.5%
Underlying EBIT 1,925 -579
Underlying EBIT margin 3.0% -1.1%
Consolidated net result for the period -5,829 -5,184
Order backlog* 30,551 9,882

* As of December 31

Detailed financial information

The 2021 Annual Report of SFC Energy AG is available for download at www.sfc.com.

SFC Energy AG will be holding a conference call in English today, March 17, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. for interested investors and journalists. Please send an email to [email protected] to register.

About SFC Energy AG

SFC Energy AG is a leading provider of hydrogen and methanol fuel cells for stationary and mobile hybrid power solutions. With the Clean Energy and Clean Power Management business segments, SFC Energy is a sustainably profitable fuel cell producer. The Company distributes its award-winning products worldwide and has sold more than 55,000 fuel cells to date. The Company is headquartered in Brunnthal/Munich and operates production facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, and Canada. SFC Energy AG is listed on the Deutsche Boerse Prime Standard (GSIN: 756857, ISIN: DE0007568578).

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