Despite the economic impact of the pandemic, German battery systems manufacturer Akasol recorded a 27.5 per cent increase in sales in the second quarter compared to the first three months of this year. Total sales in the first half of the year amounted to 18.2 million euros.
This means that Akasol is roughly on a par with the previous year’s figure of 19.2 million euros. In view of the revival of business expected in the second half of 2020, Akasol is expecting sales of between 60 and 70 million euros for the full year 2020. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the second quarter of 2020 were minus 4.5 million euros (Q2 2019: -0.1 million euros). Here, too, the second half of the year is expected to significantly improve: The Management Board currently expects the operating EBIT margin to be positive in the second half of 2020.
In contrast to many other manufacturers, Akasol did not interrupt business operations during the pandemic and did not introduce short-time working. Nevertheless, losses were still registered in Q2 due to the health crisis. This was owing to finished products and development services not being able to be delivered and invoiced to customers due to the plant closures lasting almost two months between mid-March and the end of May.
According to the CEO Sven Schulz, the dynamic growth prospects for Akasol remain intact and that Akasol and its customers both “…see clear signs that we will be able to catch up on unrealised sales from the first half of the year. This is supported not least by the on-time, as scheduled rollout of the second generation of battery-system series.”
So far, Akasol says that customers have only made minimal adjustments to their call-offs for 2020 as a whole, despite a critical assessment of the overall situation, so that a significant revival of business can be expected in the second half of the year. Akasol is, therefore, sticking to its planned major investments and development projects, including the planned move to the new headquarters in Darmstadt near Frankfurt am Main, and the completion of the plant there (Gigafactory 1) including a test and validation centre, as well as the construction of a further plant in the US state of Michigan (Gigafactory 2).
“Regarding the year as a whole, we currently do not expect significant reductions in call-ups of products by our customers. As a result, we have carefully produced battery systems in stock. This is an investment in rapid-delivery capacity for the remainder of 2020,” says CFO Carsten Bovenschen.
The first delivery of the company’s Powerpacks for Alstom’s hydrogen train Coradia iLint is still scheduled for the second half of 2020. In addition, Akasol states that it has received an order from a “world-leading bus manufacturer” to develop the third generation of battery systems for its vehicles. Since the beginning of 2020, 50 fuel cell trucks of an Asian commercial vehicle manufacturer with Akasol battery systems have been undergoing fleet testing. The company says that the expansion of the planned cooperation with the Asian customer is currently still being negotiated.
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