• Revenue almost stable in 2021 vs. 2020 despite serious impact due to ongoing worldwide supply chain issues
• Competitive cost base confirmed: significant Gross Margin improvement from projects delivered in 2021 at +19% vs. -51% in 2020.
• Net losses are down, reflecting positive impact of significant investments made over past years to strengthen innovation, engineering, industrial and organizational capacity
• Going concern conditional upon finalization of the SPAC merger and raise of a bridge financing until completion of such merger
• Uncertainty on the 2022 revenue due to the disruption of the global supply chain
YVERDON-LES-BAINS, Switzerland, May 2, 2022 – In its decision of April 29, 2022, SIX Exchange Regulation AG approved an extension of the publication deadline of Leclanché’s 2021 annual report until June 6, 2022 and requested Leclanché (SIX: LECN), one of the world's leading providers of energy storage solutions, to publish its 2021 key figures by May 2, 2022.
As indicated in the business update ad hoc announcement of February 24, 2022, the Company is actively working on raising capital through a US-based Special Purpose Acquisition Company (“SPAC”). To date, Leclanché has signed an exclusive Letter of Intent with a US listed SPAC which is currently conducting a due diligence expected to be completed by early May 2022. The foreseen next step will be to sign a binding business combination agreement with the SPAC that will lay the foundation for a merger of the SPAC with Leclanché E-Mobility SA, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Leclanché SA that was incorporated on January 1, 2022, with the aim of listing the merged entity on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) before the end of September 2022.
This will allow the Company to demonstrate that it is a going concern, which is a condition precedent set by the board of directors of Leclanché (the “Board”) to the finalization of the 2021 annual report.
In parallel, Leclanché’s has received a Term Sheet for a loan of CHF 15 million from a lender. The Company is proactively working with existing and new advisors to meet the lender’s conditions. At the same time, it has initiated the incorporation of a branch office in Singapore to explore development opportunities in Asia, which is one of the fastest growing energy market, especially in the marine sector. Upon successful conclusion of this loan, the Company will have a reasonable level of funding to run its operations in 2022 until completion of the intended SPAC merger. The Company is also working with other investors to secure new financing and remains confident that a new funding agreement will be reached within May 2022. Until such time the liquidity position remains tight and supplier payments continue to be late.
As a result, the Board was not in a position to approve the 2021 annual report before April 30, 2022, hence the request to SIX Exchange Regulation to approve an extension of the deadline for the publication of the 2021 annual report of Leclanché.
Despite this situation, Leclanché is releasing its unaudited key figures for the year 2021:
Consolidated Total Income for the financial year 2021 were CHF 21.8 million, down 9% from CHF 23.9 million in 2020; the EBITDA Loss for the year was CHF (48.8) million compared to CHF (62.2) million in 2020. The Net Loss for the year was CHF (65.0) million compared to CHF (78.2) million in 2020.
The flat sales in 2021 were due to product delivery delays caused by the pandemic and the disruption of the global supply chain which also prevent the Company from issuing guidance for 2022. Despite these headwinds, the Company was able to produce a record number of cells of nearly 250,000 at its German plant in Willstätt and 5,000 modules at its Swiss plant in Yverdon-les-Bains.
The reduction of the EBITDA Loss is mainly stemming from a significant improvement of the Gross Margin of most of the projects delivered in 2021 at +19% vs. -51% in 2020 partially offset by a still high underutilization of about 20% of the useable capacity of the German cell plant.
The balance sheet total amounted to CHF 110.2 million compared to CHF 73.2 million in 2020. This increase is stemming from the right of use assets for the lease of new premises in Yverdon-les-Bains (CHF 19.3 million, offset by the same amount on the liabilities side), higher inventories (+CHF 4.6 million) due to delayed customer shipments, higher cash and cash equivalents (+CHF 13.2 million), and an investment of CHF 6.0 million in a new module assembly line in Yverdon-les-Bains. These additional assets are financed by an increase in loans (+CHF 11.4 million) and trade payables (+CHF 5.5 million).
In addition, Leclanché SA, the Swiss legal entity, was in a negative equity position as of December 31, 2021 in an amount of CHF 18.4 million. This situation has since been remedied by the subordination of CHF 35.7 million of loans with AM and its investment advisor in February 2022.
Despite the many conflicting priorities Leclanché faces in the SPAC fundraising project, the Company is working hard to close the remaining open items with its auditors and the Board remains confident in its ability to publish its full 2021 annual report before or on June 6, 2022.
In its decision of April 29, 2022, SIX Exchange Regulation AG requested Leclanché to insert the below excerpt in this press release:
“The exemption application of Leclanché SA (Issuer) dated April 22, 2022 requesting an extension of the deadline to publish its 2021 annual report and to file such report with SIX Exchange Regulation AG until June 6, 2022 at the latest, is granted with the following reservation (lit. a) and under the following conditions (lit. b):
- SIX Exchange Regulation AG reserves the right to suspend trading of the registered shares of the Issuer in case its 2021 annual report is not published in accordance with the provisions on ad hoc publicity (Art. 53 of the Listing Rules [LR] in connection with the Directive on Ad hoc Publicity [DAH]) and not filed with SIX Exchange Regulation AG until Monday, June 6, 2022, 11:59 pm CET, at the latest.
- Leclanché SA is required to publish a notice in accordance with the provisions on ad hoc publicity (art. 53 LR in connection with the DAH) concerning this decision until Monday, May 2, 2022, 7:30 am CET, at the latest. The notice must contain:
- the unaltered reproduction of the wording of para. I. of this decision, placed in a prominent position;
- the reasons for the application of the Issuer requesting an extension of the deadline to publish its 2021 annual report and to file such report with SIX Exchange Regulation AG;
- the unaudited key figures such as net revenues, EBITDA, EBIT, profit/loss, balance sheet total, equity etc. for the annual results 2021.”
For more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.leclanche.com.
Headquartered in Switzerland, Leclanché SA is a leading provider of high-quality energy storage solutions designed to accelerate our progress towards a clean energy future. Leclanché’s history and heritage is rooted in over 100 years of battery and energy storage innovation and the Company is a trusted provider of energy storage solutions globally. This coupled with the Company’s culture of German engineering and Swiss precision and quality, continues to make Leclanché the partner of choice for both disruptors, established companies and governments who are pioneering positive changes in how energy is produced, distributed and consumed around the world. The energy transition is being driven primarily by changes in the management of our electricity networks and the electrification of transport, and these two end markets form the backbone of our strategy and business model. Leclanché is at the heart of the convergence of the electrification of transport and the changes in the distribution network. Leclanché is the only listed pure play energy storage company in the world, organised along three business units: stationary storage solutions, e-Transport solutions and specialty batteries systems. Leclanché is listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX: LECN).
SIX Swiss Exchange: ticker symbol LECN | ISIN CH 011 030 311 9
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to Leclanché's business, which can be identified by terminology such as "strategic", "proposes", "to introduce", "will", "planned", "expected", "commitment", "expects", "set", "preparing", "plans", "estimates", "aims", "would", "potential", "awaiting", "estimated", "proposal", or similar expressions, or by expressed or implied discussions regarding the ramp up of Leclanché's production capacity, potential applications for existing products, or regarding potential future revenues from any such products, or potential future sales or earnings of Leclanché or any of its business units. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of Leclanché regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that Leclanché's products will achieve any particular revenue levels. Nor can there be any guarantee that Leclanché, or any of the business units, will achieve any particular financial results.