Horsham, UK: Ceres Power Holdings plc ("Ceres", the "Company") (AIM: CWR.L), a global leader in fuel cell technology, is pleased to provide a post period end trading update ahead of the announcement of its audited results for the 18 months ended 31 December 2020, which will be released on Thursday 18 March 2021.
· Revenue and other operating income for the 18-month period to 31 December 2020 will be around £32-33 million, above market expectations
· The order book* and pipeline* were £54 million and £44 million respectively at 31 December 2020, compared to £22 million and £50 million at 31 December 2019
· Cash and short-term investments were approximately £110 million at 31 December 2020, higher than expected as a result of positive working capital movements
· Doosan signed a manufacturing licence with a target capacity of 50MW in 2024 and also extended its systems partnership with Ceres to target higher power utility scale applications
· Bosch has also strengthened its partnership with Ceres having passed a key development milestone in December 2020. It is now preparing to scale up to mass manufacture and targeting production capacity of 200MW in 2024
· Weichai continues its bus trials employing Ceres' SteelCell® due to complete in H1 2021 as a key step towards establishing a Joint Venture between Weichai and Ceres in China in mid-2021
· Ceres and engineering consultancy AVL List signed a strategic collaboration to accelerate systems licensing, providing global reach to Ceres, leveraging the significant respective fuel cell systems IP, resources and capability and drive demand for stack manufacturing licensees
· Focus remains on supporting manufacturing partners in scaling up their production capabilities towards mass market launches in 2024 which will trigger royalty payments to Ceres
· Ceres and Weichai intend to establish a joint venture in mid-2021, following the successful conclusion of the bus trial
· Ceres plans to continue the development of solid oxide electrolysis for green hydrogen production targeting industrial applications, following successful initial R&D stage
* Order book refers to confirmed contracted revenue and other income while pipeline is contracted revenue and other income which management estimate is contingent upon options not under the control of Ceres.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic the company has continued to deliver top line revenue growth and to meet customer commitments globally securing new strategic partnerships with Doosan in South Korea and AVL List in Austria while progressing our relationship with Weichai in China and passing a key milestone with Bosch in December.
The significant progress made in 2020 provides a solid foundation for 2021 and, with partners aiming to scale up manufacturing, provides visibility to future high margin revenue and further validation of the Ceres licensing business model. The Company has established itself as one of the world leaders in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technology and is well positioned for future growth. Ceres will continue to invest in its core technology to maintain its leadership position and expand into new applications such as electrolysis for hydrogen and future fuels with the purpose of providing clean energy technology that can address climate change globally.
Employee wellbeing is the main priority at Ceres and the company has implemented flexible working hours off-site and comprehensive safety measures on-site to protect its people. Throughout the pandemic period Ceres has successfully continued its operations and recruited and on-boarded an additional 88 scientists and engineers during 2020, continuing to grow a world leading UK technology business as it supports commercial partners globally and progresses new and existing technology programmes.
Phil Caldwell, Chief Executive Officer of Ceres commented:
"The last 18 months have been one of the most important periods in our history. Bosch and Weichai made significant equity investments in the business, underlining their long-term confidence in our technology. On the supply side of our SteelCell® ecosystem we announced the scale up to an aggregate 250MW of manufacturing capacity for 2024, giving us visibility of high margin royalty revenues. This was balanced on the OEM systems side with the AVL relationship, which should accelerate our systems licensing opportunities and create additional fuel cell stack demand for our manufacturing partners.
"None of these major steps forward would have been possible without the ongoing professionalism of our people, who have found ways to work effectively during this challenging period. I would therefore like to thank them for their commitment in delivering another strong year for Ceres. Their efforts position us well to support our existing customers and to harness the growing number of opportunities for our technology as nations around the world continue to promote their green initiatives."