Meyer Burger is optimising manufacturing footprint and product portfolio

 

Press Release

Thun, 02 November 2017

 

 

Meyer Burger is optimising manufacturing footprint and product portfolio  

 

 

 

 

 

Meyer Burger Technology Ltd (SIX Swiss Exchange: MBTN) announced today that it has initiated a cost efficiency programme to optimise manufacturing costs and further concentrate its product portfolio. As a result, the production site in Thun/Switzerland, which currently manufactures equipment used in the wafer and module processes as well as for building integrated photovoltaics applications, will be reorganised. All the manufacturing activities in Thun are expected to be discontinued by the end of 2018.

 

Hans Brändle, CEO at Meyer Burger said: “The decisions to close down production in Thun in 2018 and to reorganise certain parts of our product portfolio were difficult to take. Especially since it also affects many long-term employees of Meyer Burger. But this transformation and reorganisation has become unavoidable and necessary to improve the Group’s operating efficiency and to secure the future of Meyer Burger. We will ensure that the personnel measures are carried out in a fair, respectful and socially responsible way.”  

 

Manufacturing of diamond wire saws moves closer to clients

In Wafering, with 85% of PV wafers manufactured in Asia (largely in China), Meyer Burger will move its production of diamond wire saws from Thun to China during the course of 2018 in order to achieve more flexible cost structures, reduce delivery time and costs and further increase customer proximity. In Modules, the company is going to focus its resources on establishing SmartWire Connection Technology (SWCT) as an industrial standard. The proprietary Busbar technology and JT laminator technology will be discontinued. For Solar Systems, which mainly addresses the Swiss market with its MegaSlate® products for building integration, strategic alternatives are being evaluated. The panel production in Thun will also end during 2018.

 

Thun site will mainly be dedicated to global sales and marketing, services, research and development and headquarter functions in future

The existing manufacturing capacities at the Thun site are significantly underutilised. The transformation of the site is necessary to reduce this excess capacity and cost. The resulting measures will affect up to 180 positions mainly in manufacturing, logistics, purchasing and production planning in Thun over the next 15 months. An initial meeting with the employee representatives regarding the relevant consultation procedures has taken place. Meyer Burger expects most of the transformation to be completed by the end of 2018. As part of the measures, the company will also assess solutions for production and logistics space no longer used going forward. In future, the Thun site of Meyer Burger will be dedicated mainly to global sales and marketing, services, research and development as well as headquarter activities.

 

Positive EBITDA impact of about CHF 10 million as of FY 2019

Once the transformation programme has been executed, the company expects a positive EBITDA impact of about CHF 10 million on an annual basis (as of fiscal year 2019).

 

The implementation of the programme will result in one-off cash-related extraordinary expenses of about CHF 10 million for product transfer and personnel costs. Half of this charge is expected to be recorded in the 2017 and the remaining half in the 2018 financial statements. In addition, there will be a one-off non-cash related extraordinary charge of about CHF 40 million, mainly due to a write-off of worldwide inventory, impairment on the building in Thun and impairment of intangible assets, which will be recorded to the 2017 financial year.

 

Outlook 2017

Meyer Burger confirms its outlook for net sales 2017: Based on the planned customer acceptances, as previously stated the company expects net sales of about CHF 440-460 million. As some of the extraordinary expenses in conjunction with the transformation programme will affect the 2017 income statement above the EBITDA line, Meyer Burger has to adjust its previous EBITDA guidance for fiscal year 2017 to a level of CHF 5-15 million. Furthermore, the company also plans a reorganisation of its Dutch subsidiary in Eindhoven/Netherlands, with business activities in ink jet printing solutions and thin-film encapsulation and about 75 employees (FTE), during 2018. 

 

 

Contacts:

Ingrid Carstensen

Corporate Communications

Phone: +41 (0)33 221 28 34

ingrid.carstensen@meyerburger.com

 

Daniel Eicher

c/o Tolxdorff & Eicher Consulting

Phone: +41 (0)33 221 28 83

daniel.eicher@meyerburger.com

 

THIS PRESS RELEASE IS NOT BEING ISSUED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND SHOULD NOT BE DISTRIBUTED TO U.S. PERSONS OR PUBLICATIONS WITH A GENERAL CIRCULATION IN THE UNITED STATES. THIS PRESS RELEASE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER OR INVITATION TO SUBSCRIBE FOR, EXCHANGE OR PURCHASE ANY SECURITIES. IN ADDITION, THE SECURITIES OF MEYER BURGER TECHNOLOGY LTD HAVE NOT BEEN AND WILL NOT BE REGISTERED UNDER THE UNITED STATES SECURITIES ACT OF 1933, AS AMENDED (THE “SECURITIES ACT”), OR ANY STATE SECURITIES LAWS AND MAY NOT BE OFFERED, SOLD OR DELIVERED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OR TO U.S. PERSONS ABSENT REGISTRATION UNDER OR AN APPLICABLE EXEMPTION FROM THE REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES SECURITIES LAWS.

 

This press release may contain “forward-looking statements”, such as guidance, expectations, plans, intentions, or strategies regarding the future. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. The reader is cautioned that actual future results may differ from those expressed in or implied by the statements, which constitute projections of possible developments. All forward-looking statements included in this press release are based on data available to Meyer Burger Technology Ltd as of the date that this press release is published. The company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.