Meyer Burger Technology AG (SWX:MBTN) saw its net loss swell to CHF 64.7 million (USD 73.8m/EUR 67.7m) in the first half due to a difficult market situation, depreciation, ramp-up of production, and the ongoing expansion in the US operations.
The negative effects dented the Swiss manufacturer’s performance and more than offset the 70.8% rise in sales to CHF 96.9 million achieved in the first six months of the year.
The launch of an additional production line has led to a rise in both personnel and operating costs and as a result of these effects, EBITDA loss expanded to CHF 43.3 million from CHF 24.4 million a year earlier.
Meyer Burger again affirmed its decision to focus on the expansion in the US which was announced in July. The company said in its first-half report that it is giving the utmost priority to advancing the establishment of new solar cell production in the USA and is seeking additional agreements for the purchase of multiple gigawatts of solar cells in the US.
Last month, Meyer Burger unveiled a plan to build a production facility in Colorado with an annual capacity to manufacture 2 GW of solar cells which will be supplied to its solar module factory in Arizona.
In addition, the Swiss company said it is in the process of selecting a new site for expanding its production capabilities further. The shift in the focus to the US is a response to the prevailing market imbalances in Europe as Chinese suppliers flooded the market with solar modules at prices far below manufacturing costs. While these challenges persist, the company intends to continue expanding its capacity in the US.
Meyer Burger’s expansion ambitions in Europe are on hold until more favourable market conditions are established to ensure fair competition. The company, however, is participating in the German government’s expression of interest process with a 5-GW solar cell and module production project. This could create synergies with a plan for a 3.5-GW production facility in Europe which will receive funding from the EU Innovation Fund.