Although the battery system manufacturer Voltabox was able to significantly increase sales in the first half of the year, the operating result was still in the red. An improvement is probably not in sight until 2020, and may require an austerity program.
After the first six months of the year, sales totaled EUR 32.1 million, an increase of 77.3 per cent over the same period last year. Operating earnings before interest and taxes amounted to negative EUR 3.6 million compared to a minor profit of EUR 0.1 million in the same period of the previous year.
According to the Delbrück-based company, the increase in sales was mainly due to battery systems for use in forklifts. In addition, series production of battery systems for use in agricultural vehicles contributed to sales growth in the first half of the year. Sales of battery packs for electric bicycles were also encouraging.
“In the first half of the year, we were able to continue growing in a weak market environment and gain new customers,” says Jürgen Pampel, Chairman of the Board of Management of Voltabox AG. “Nevertheless, temporary effects have recently impacted our profitability.”
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On August 12, the Management Board of Voltabox AG announced an adjustment to its sales and earnings forecast for the 2019 financial year. The main reasons are the partial postponement of a major order to the American subsidiary Voltabox of Texas (where mobile phone masts were to be equipped with Li-Ion batteries) until 2020 and the conversion of an important cell supplier to the latest technology, which will lead to a temporary interruption of production in some areas at Voltabox.
For the 2019 fiscal year, Voltabox now expects consolidated sales of between €70 million and €80 million. Instead of the profit forecast until the profit warning, there should now also be a loss for the year as a whole: The company is forecasting a margin of minus 8 to minus 9 per cent.
For the year 2020, the battery system manufacturer is aiming for a “sustainable return to profitability”. In return, Pampel intends to cut costs and concentrate on high-margin areas. The Management Board also wants to reassure investors: since the beginning of the year, the share has temporarily lost up to 60 per cent in value. One of the reasons for this was an erroneous annual report for 2017, where Voltabox had understated the loss far too low.