Valoe Corporation Stock Exchange News Release on May 18, 2021 at 9:15 p.m. Finnish time
THE FIRST QUARTER 2021
- In January – March 2021, the net sales of the Valoe group, according to IFRS, amounted to approximately 0.3 million euros (in 2020 0.3 million euros). EBIT was approx. EUR -1.4 million (EUR -0.9 million), the profit for the period amounts to approx. -1.8 million euros (-1.3 million euros). EBITDA was approximately EUR -1.1 million (EUR -0.6 million). At the end of the financial year, the equity ratio of the Valoe Group, including capital loans, amounted to 18.5% (-0.3%).
- In January 2021, the company issued a convertible bond of 3.4 million euros, which was oversubscribed. The company raised new funding totaling 2.4 million euros through the convertible bond, and the company’s indebtedness decreased by a total of 1.0 million euros.
- Interest in Valoe’s OddForm technology is growing. After the end of the reporting period, we signed two cooperation agreements for the use of photovoltaics in vehicles: in April 2021, we signed a development agreement of approximately 2.2 million euros with Sono Motors GmbH (“Sono Motors”; www.sonomotors.com), and May 2021, an agreement with Sin Cars Industry JSC (“Sin Cars”; sincars.co.uk) for the development, prototyping and production of a photovoltaic system integrated into the vehicle. The system will first be introduced in L CITY electric vehicles intended for city center deliveries. Sin Cars and L CITY estimate to sell up to 20,000 vehicles until 2026. At the start, the deal is worth around 60,000 euros. The estimated price of a VIPV system for a mass production vehicle is agreed between 2,000 and 4,000 EUR depending on the vehicle model.
|1-3 / 2021||1-3 / 2020||1-12 / 2020|
|Operating result||-1 438||-857||-3,277|
|EBITDA||-1 108||-565||-1 863|
|Profit for the period||-1 830||-1 323||-4 922|
VALOE’S FUTURE PROSPECTS
The company’s market outlook remains unchanged as follows: Valoe aims for growth in fiscal 2021. Restrictions and other effects of the coronavirus pandemic make it difficult to assess the market situation, and the company does not provide therefore no forecasts for its net sales for 2021. As announced on November 10, 2021, the company estimates that the operating cash flow of the Valoe group will become positive on a monthly basis during the second quarter of 2021, provided that COVID-19 does not delay, directly or indirectly, further the start of mass production of solar cells in the Lithuanian plant and the start of large-scale deliveries.
Events during and after the reference period
- Customer activity was buoyant.
- Interest in Valoe’s OddForm technology has grown.
- The collaboration with Sono Motors has deepened with the new cooperation agreement of 2.2 million euros.
- The Valoe cell plant in Lithuania is ramped up. However, production volumes are still too low. We increase the volumes as soon as the quality of the cells reaches the set objectives.
- Our R&D staff and operators at the Lithuanian plant were successful in starting the plant, as technical support was not almost always available when needed due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, and that the pandemic has sometimes caused a shortage of essential materials and services.
Since the end of last year, the prices of raw materials, including silicon wafers which are essential for Valoe, have continued to increase. Due to rising prices for silicon wafers and continued strong demand, prices for conventional solar modules from other manufacturers are increasing for the first time in years. We believe that the price increase will limit the availability of solar panels, at least in small markets like Finland, and improve our competitiveness in the Finnish markets for conventional solar panels.
In our opinion, the price increase will not harm our OddForm modules business. However, when we sell IBC cells to third parties for their conventional solar panels, we have to pass the higher silicon wafer prices on to the cell prices.
In its February 24, 2021 press release, Valoe revealed that in the summer of 2019, the company signed a supply agreement with a U.S. customer, and that Valoe and the customer are negotiating how and when to start deliveries. Now Valoe updates the situation as follows: Negotiations with the customer are continuing but due to the aforementioned increase in wafer prices, previously agreed prices need to be increased. We are constantly discussing deliveries, delivery methods and prices with the customer. We still believe that once the cell production of the Lithuanian factory achieves its quantity and quality targets with competitive prices, we can come to an agreement to start deliveries. Even if no agreement is reached, the need for IBC cells in our OddForm modules is increasing and we can use a significant part of Lithuanian cells in our more developed and higher margin applications.
New development at Juva solar module factory
During the reporting period, Valoe used numerous resources to develop and reorganize production at the Juva module factory. We closed production of the Chrome II module at the end of fiscal 2020 as planned. The production of the next generation of modules, the Chrystal module based on IBC cells, required modifications and modernization of equipment at the Juva plant. So, mass production did not start. According to the current plan, we will begin deliveries of Chrystal modules in the second quarter of the fiscal year.
During the second quarter of the fiscal year, we will be implementing a brand new HAMA production line for the production of solar modules at the Juva plant. The new HAMA production line is designed and manufactured by Valoe. With the new production line, we can manufacture conventional solar modules as well as OddForm modules. In addition, the HAMA line will serve as a test platform for several future technological concepts.
Photovoltaic integrated in the vehicle
The global market for automotive-related photovoltaic solutions is still small, but it is expected to grow rapidly. According to a study by Allied Market Research in 2020, the global solar-powered vehicle market is expected to reach $ 330 million in 2023 and is expected to reach $ 4,088.
million by 2030, registering an annual growth rate of 43.3%. Our OddForm modules are perfectly suited to this market, and the company aims to be a major technological supplier in this very strong growth market. The cooperation agreements with Sono Motors and Sin Cars are a good start.
Photovoltaic solutions for space technology
The solar modules used in the satellites are based on a similar conductive backsheet in which Valoe specializes. In the near future, the photovoltaic market linked to space technology will grow considerably thanks to constellation satellites. Solar panels, as a source of energy, will be one of the most important components of satellites. We are interested in the application of photovoltaic applications to space technology and we have already established some cooperation with leading space companies. Our future goal is to provide solar modules and cells for use in constellation satellites.
MANAGING DIRECTOR IIKKA SAVISALO:
“During the period under review, Valoe’s net sales came from production development with Sono Motors, other development projects and deliveries of individual solar power plants in Finland.
Based on current estimates, the company has sufficient funding until operating cash flow turns positive on a monthly basis. Although the start of deliveries of Chrystal cells and panels has been delayed, we still believe that operating cash flow will turn positive on a monthly basis in the second quarter of 2021. However, we cannot afford to delay. estimated cash flows.
The deepening of development cooperation with Sono Motors and the good demand for OddForm modules have a positive effect on cash flow.
During this fiscal year, we received several orders for development work related to OddForm modules. We are developing photovoltaic applications for vehicles and interesting agricultural applications for our customers. Photovoltaic systems integrated into vehicles could become one of our revolutionary products.
We already operate mainly in the international market. I believe that our future success will depend on our ability to convince our demanding clients of our skills and capabilities. Many of our clients are international conglomerates who only assess us by bottom line, which presents us with difficult challenges. I know that challenges can only be met by setting goals correctly. Our sales, product development and production must work with ambition, aiming to continually improve the outcome of our work.
Risks and uncertainties: COVID-19 pandemic may further delay cash flow and increase risk
Valoe’s activity is strongly oriented towards international markets. There is currently great uncertainty about the future due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions.
Valoe’s financial situation involves significant risks. Although the company’s financial position has improved, we cannot afford to delay the estimated cash flow. Valoe’s cash flow will remain tight until cash flow from operating activities becomes definitively positive again.
Certain statements in this Business Review, the market directions, and in particular the non-binding estimates of Valoe’s strategy are forward-looking and based on current management estimates. They involve risks and uncertainties by their nature and may be affected by changes in the general financial condition or the business environment.
These and other risks were described in detail in the publication of the Company’s financial statements dated February 24, 2021 and in the Annual Report published on April 22, 2021 and are available on the Company’s web pages www.valoe.fi.
In Mikkeli on May 18, 2021
Board of directors