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DGAP-News: AKASOL AG / Key word(s): Annual Results
Still on course for dynamic growth - despite the coronavirus crisis: AKASOL boosts revenue by more than 40% to EUR 68.3 million in 2020
Darmstadt, April 30, 2021 - AKASOL AG ("AKASOL"; ISIN DE000A2JNWZ9; Interim ISIN DE000A3H3MM8), a leading German developer and manufacturer of high-energy and high-performance lithium-ion battery systems for buses, commercial vehicles, rail vehicles, industrial vehicles, ships and boats and a provider of comprehensive solutions, achieved strong revenue growth of 43%, to EUR 68.3 million in 2020 (2019: EUR 47.6 million). Based on the consolidated financial statements prepared by the Management Board, AKASOL achieved this in spite of the extremely challenging framework conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The positive year-over-year revenue trend was driven by encouragingly high customer demand. In this connection, revenue of EUR 50.1 million in the second half of 2020 alone represented more than a doubling compared to the first half of 2020 (EUR 18.2 million). Due to block breaks instituted in the plants of AKASOL's customers, at first the trend in business in 2020 was heavily burdened by efforts to contain the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The upturn in business forecast by the Management Board then took hold in the second half of the year.
Adjusted for special effects, EBIT for the AKASOL Group in the second half of 2020 stood at EUR 1.0 million; this represents an adjusted EBIT margin of 2.0%. The operating EBIT margin in the second half of 2020 was thus positive, as projected by the Management Board, and exhibited significant improvement over the first half of the year (adjusted EBIT H1 2020: EUR -6.3 million; adjusted EBIT margin H1 2020: -34.5%). Viewed over the entire year 2020, the adjusted EBIT stood at EUR -5.3 million (2019: EUR -2.4 million), representing an adjusted EBIT margin of -7.7% (2019: -5.1%).
For purposes of internal management, and to provide an important indicator of the operating profitability of its business activities, AKASOL uses earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) adjusted for non-operating influences, together with earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT) adjusted for non-operating influences.
Before adjustments, EBIT in 2020 totaled to EUR -12.1 million (2019: EUR -5.3 million). The decrease in EBIT is mainly attributable to measures to support growth in connection with the short-term establishment of structures and optimization of the Group's processes. Furthermore, one-time expenses in connection with inventory and material stock adjustments as well as special effects in the personnel area are taken into account here.
"The past 2020 financial year was an extremely challenging year as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Looking back, we can state that AKASOL was successful in adapting quickly to the new framework conditions, and that in 2020, along with strong revenue growth, we also achieved many other important milestones for the further development of our Company," said Sven Schulz, CEO of AKASOL AG. Among other things, these milestones included the commissioning of the second serial production line at the production location in Langen before the first phase of lockdowns; annual maximum production capacity at the location was consequently expanded to 800 MWh as planned. In spite of temporary restrictions on travel to the US, and thanks to virtual collaboration, AKASOL proceeded on schedule with the planned commissioning of its first serial production line at the US location in Hazel Park, Michigan, with an annual production capacity of up to 400 MWh. AKASOL launched production there of the second generation of battery systems in the second half of 2020. "Another very special milestone was the punctual completion of and move into the new company headquarters in Darmstadt in October 2020, following a construction period of just 15 months. With a production capacity of up to 5 GWh in its final stage of expansion, the AKASOL headquarters will be by far the largest serial production location for commercial-vehicle battery systems in Europe. This will sustainably strengthen our market position. We are proud of the entire AKASOL team's dedication to creating the conditions for a positive overall trend for our Company - even in the difficult coronavirus year of 2020," Schulz added.
Carsten Bovenschen, CFO at AKASOL AG, explained: "The coronavirus crisis did not stop us from following our expansion path. We continued to grow in 2020, not just in our corporate structures but in our revenue volume as well. With our customers consistently pursuing electrification of their commercial-vehicle fleets, AKASOL's outlook for growth in the years ahead remains intact and unchanged. Even a global crisis on the order of magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic could not derail the transformation to electromobility. Quite the contrary: In the 4th quarter, we recorded the highest revenue in the history of the Company at EUR 27.8 million. The adjusted EBITDA margin of 10.9% underlines the expected positive operating development at the end of the year."
The Management Board of AKASOL AG views this as a clear indication that electrification of the commercial-vehicle sector is not a temporary trend but rather a profound and long-term strategy toward alternative forms of mobility. The sales successes that were achieved even during the coronavirus crisis also support this assessment. So do the newly launched customer projects, such as the autumn 2020 launch of serial production of the "AKARack" 48-volt battery system for vehicles of a world-leading manufacturer of construction equipment. Other fields, such as battery-operated and autonomous charging stations or hydrogen drives for commercial and rail vehicles will create attractive additional opportunities for AKASOL to expand.
"We intend to drive AKASOL's dynamic growth even more forcefully in the future. The partnership with BorgWarner will significantly accelerate our expansion, especially in the markets of Europe and North America. Within the scope of this partnership, we also see the potential to gain better access to prospective new customers in markets where AKASOL is not represented yet. We are firmly convinced that we will be able to write the next successful chapter in AKASOL's history by working with BorgWarner," CEO Sven Schulz explained.
Against the backdrop of the global economic recovery currently forecast for 2021, the AKASOL Management Board expects the business outlook for the 2021 financial year to remain dynamic and positive.
In conclusion, the Management Board would like to point out that the preparation of the consolidated financial statements for 2020 has been significantly delayed due to considerable additional burdens on the Finance Department in connection with the takeover offer made at the beginning of the year by BorgWarner and that, as a result, the independent auditor's certificate is still outstanding. The Management Board expects the audit certificate to be provided in the coming weeks. As a result, the certified consolidated financial statements for the 2020 financial year will be available not later than when this year's Annual General Meeting of AKASOL AG is convened on May 21, 2021.
(1) The consolidated financial statements of the AKASOL Group are prepared in accordance with the applicable accounting standards and audited by independent audit firms. The audit for the 2020 financial statements has not yet been completed. In addition to the mandatory disclosures, AKASOL identifies and publishes further key figures that are not subject to these regulations. This allows for comparisons of performance or operating profitability over time and facilitates management of the Company. For purposes of internal management, and to provide an important indicator of the operating profitability of its business activities, AKASOL uses earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) adjusted for non-operating influences, together with earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT) adjusted for non-operating influences.
Non-operating effects on earnings comprise individual circumstances that lead to material effects. In terms of the financial year completed, these are particularly, first of all, steps taken in support of growth relative to the establishment of structures in the short term and improvement of processes within the Group. This item also considers special charges in connection with adjustments in stock and material masters processed in connection with the relocation to the new headquarters and the SAP system conversion.
AKASOL is a leading German developer and manufacturer of high-energy and high-performance lithium-ion battery systems for use in buses, commercial vehicles, rail vehicles and industrial vehicles, as well as in ships and boats. With 30 years of experience, AKASOL is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of lithium-ion battery systems for commercial applications. Shares of AKASOL AG stock have been traded on the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since June 29, 2018.
Statements contained herein could be deemed to constitute what are referred to as "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements are identifiable by the use of words such as "could," "will," "should," "plans," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "believes," "intends," "envisages," "aims" or the negative form of these terms, or corresponding modifications and comparable terms. Based on current expectations, forward-looking statements involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors as a consequence of which actual results, degrees of capacity utilization, developments and successes achieved by the Group, or on the part of the branch of industry in which it operates, might turn out to be materially different from the results contained or implied herein. The faith placed in forward-looking statements should not be unreasonably high. The Group will not update or review any forward-looking statements published herein in light of new information, future events or for any other reason.
The consolidated financial statements of the AKASOL Group are prepared in accordance with the applicable accounting standards and audited by independent audit firms. The audit for the 2020 financial statements has not yet been completed. In addition to the mandatory disclosures, AKASOL identifies and publishes further key figures that are not subject to these regulations. This allows for comparisons of performance or operating profitability over time and facilitates management of the Company.
30.04.2021 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
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