EQS Group-Ad-hoc: Leclanché SA / Key word(s): Interim Report/Contract
Leclanché builds momentum towards step-change
03.09.2015 / 07:15
Release of an ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 KR.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
Yverdon, Switzerland, 3 September 2015
Leclanché builds momentum towards step-change
- Interim results announced today. They do not yet reflect the positive
impact of the series of major Customer wins, acquisitions and
partnership agreements since the start of 2015.
- Thanks to strong support from Recharge ApS, substantial debt reduction
achieved through conversion of CHF 22 million into Leclanché shares
- Signed contracts have led to production ramp-up during this period and
point to a significant order backlog by the end of this year.
- Far-reaching industrial and commercial transformation is underway.
Leclanché is taking its momentum up by several levels with a string of
successes in the first half of the year. Simultaneously, Leclanché is
undergoing a transformation from a mere producer of battery Cells (even
high-performance ones) into a global leader in sophisticated energy storage
systems with a software-and-services led vertically integrated business
model. The strategy developed by the new CEO, which has received strong
support from its major shareholders, gives Leclanché access to a wide range
of high growth new markets.
Leclanché has successfully completed the installation of a 500 KWh solar
power storage unit at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, an
important reference reinforcing its credibility.
The Company is currently implementing a major micro-grid project. In
partnership with Younicos on Graciosa Island, in the Azores, the project is
to install the world's first renewable energy power plant with a
megawatts-scale energy storage system. This system shall be a benchmark
for all future island projects on all five continents: by stabilising the
grid with a reduced use of a traditional thermal engine, it will supply
power that is more than 60% renewable (wind and solar).
Leclanché has signed a strategic partnership with Visedo Oy (Finland) to
develop a battery management system (BMS) combining Visedo's Drive/ Power
Train systems expertise with Leclanché's battery systems. This partnership
will provide a decisive innovation in delivering 30-40% more efficient
Electric Drive Trains for mass transport vehicles and heavy industrial
machineries like Buses; Ferries; Trams; Mining Equipment etc.
As a clear stamp of approval for Leclanché and Visedo's industry leading
innovation, the combined solution has already been chosen for the world's
largest electric-propulsion ferry, ÆRØ FERRY, which will be equipped with
a 4.2 MWh Leclanché battery system - a record in terms of capacity. Named
as one of the five main projects of the European Union's Horizon 2020
programme for research and innovation, this Danish project aims to
guarantee local populations access to environmentally friendly transport.
Meanwhile, the partnership with Litarion, a subsidiary of the Electrovaya
group, will enable two of the largest European producers in this sector to
sell market-leading electrochemical storage systems, as the combination of
Litarion's graphite/NMC electrode production and Leclanché's cutting-edge
Cells production know-how, including its Ceramic safety separator
technology will provide unparalleled performances.
Leclanché is continuing to deepen its vertical integration of storage
technologies, from cell manufacturing to the design and production of
complete systems. The acquisition announced in July of Trineuron, a
subsidiary of the Belgian group Emrol, adds specialized Battery Modules and
Cloud Services Platform to Leclanché's portfolio. In addition, it provides
access to other market applications including Automated Guided Vehicles
In August, Leclanché announced acquisition of the design and intellectual
property rights for module and battery management system of ADS-TEC, a
German company. This insourcing of all design and perpetual IP rights
includes mechanical design of modules; all electronics hardware for Battery
Management; and Source code of the software for Battery Management System.
A gradual transfer of Production knowhow is planned to set up an Assembly
facility in Yverdon-les-Bains in Switzerland.
This succession of agreements or acquisitions gives Leclanché control of
all aspects of the technology, from cell production to the design of full
systems, as well as module assembly and installation. Leclanché is thus
boosting both its competitive edge and its margins, while delivering
optimised "best-in-class" solutions for a very broad range of stationary
and transport energy storage applications.
In parallel, Leclanché has boosted its commercial policy. In partnership
with the Danish company Scotia, an important contract for solar-powered
public lighting in Saudi Arabia has just been announced. The lithium-ion
titanate battery module, which is built into its support mast, can
withstand temperatures ranging from -20 to 55 degrees Celsius. This is a
big first that opens up considerable market potential.
Through its acquisition of Trineuron, Leclanché has won a major order for
supplying Battery Systems for Automatic Guided Vehicles to globally known
company. This customer was looking for batteries that were more
environmentally friendly (lead- and cadmium-free) and can handle fast
charging to reduce operating costs.
Obviously, such a scale and speed of development makes it more difficult to
reduce costs, although management is seeking to make its marketing more
effective, to optimise productivity, and to allocate resources more
In addition, expanded sales forces have clearly focused on the most
promising projects rather than traditional products. This growth strategy
has required Leclanché to invest, especially in human resources, and this
also weighed on the results of the first half of 2015, given that
Leclanché's first major successes will not begin to pay back until the
second half of 2015 and, into 2016. The net loss at the EBITDA level thus
came to CHF 8.94 million, a CHF 1.36 million decline from the previous
half-year (which showed an EBITDA loss of CHF 7.58 million).
The management, the Board of Directors and Leclanché's major shareholders
were well prepared for this unavoidable loss and are encouraged by booked
orders in the same period (Graciosa and Electric Ferry) which will already
translate into aggregate revenues of some CHF 13 million from deliveries
towards the end of 2015 and into 2016. So much so that management maintains
its belief that Adjusted EBITDA breakeven* will be achieved in the closing
months of this year.
Four contributions to financing this far-reaching industrial ramp-up are
proof of Leclanché shareholders' confidence and their firm belief in its
- In January, Recharge Aps subscribed CHF 21 million in convertible loans
for both operating costs and the capital needed for investments in
- Recharge also spent CHF 5 million to purchase the convertible loan held
by Oakridge Global Energy System and this was then fully converted into
shares by May 2015;
- Universal Holdings and Bruellan agreed to extend their bridge loans,
which had otherwise been due to mature in June;
- In July, Recharge converted CHF 16.8 million of its convertible bonds
into shares, thus cutting into Leclanché debt considerably. At this
time, Recharge also provided an additional CHF 5 million of Growth
The Board of the Company wishes to thank the Leclanché team, and all
trading partners, for the tremendous progress achieved in the current
period and looks forward to the fruits of this labour for all stakeholders
in the second-half of 2015 and beyond.
* As previously recorded, 'Adjusted EBITDA breakeven' is defined as
breakeven at the EBITDA level, after adjustment to exclude of any non-cash
items and as further adjusted to exclude the negative effects of any growth
initiatives and activities which are separately funded under Facility B or
Detailed results: www.leclanche.eu
For any additional information:
Claude-Olivier Rochat, Voxia communication. Tel.: (+41) 079 203 52 19 -
Rohan Sant, Voxia communication. Tel.: (+41) 079 120 00 28 -
Leclanché, which is listed on the Swiss stock exchange (SIX:LECN), has a
wide range of storage products for homes, small offices, large industries,
electricity grids, hybridization for mass transport systems like fleet of
buses, trams etc. Established in 1909 Leclanché has been a reliable partner
for battery storage technologies. Founded in the tradition of Georges
Leclanché, the inventor of the dry cell battery, Leclanché today has a rich
portfolio of Energy Storage Systems that include Specialized
Customer-specific Battery Systems to industry leading lithium-ion
solutions. Through the integration of a spin-off of the German Fraunhofer
Institute in 2006 the company evolved from a traditional battery producer
into one of the first developers and manufacturers of lithium-ion cells in
Europe. Leclanché's Storage Solutions are optimized for various
applications, in particular for the integration of renewable energy, diesel
fuel reduction, electricity grid-connected ancillary services, peak power
shaving for heavy industries but also for heavy duty transportation in
buses, trams, trains or maritime vessels. Leclanché products are
characterized by a very high cycle stability (both for cells with titanate
and graphite anode) and long service life. Thanks to our patented separator
technology, which is a core element of lithium ion batteries, Leclanché is
able to make cells with very good safety characteristics in a highly
automated production process. Leclanché operates a fully automated plant
for the production of large format lithium-ion cells at an annual maximum
capacity of up to one million cells and is capable of running multiple
chemistries through production for different cell characteristics. In
addition, Leclanché offers a number of specialized battery systems through
its Portable Business Unit, such as customer-specific energy storage
systems for defense and medical applications. Leclanché also distributes
primary and secondary batteries and accessories of other producers.
End of ad hoc announcement
03.09.2015 News transmitted by EQS Schweiz AG. www.eqs.com - news
The issuer is responsible for the contents of the release.
Company: Leclanché SA
Av. des Sports 42
Phone: +41 (24) 424 65-00
Fax: +41 (24) 424 65-20
ISIN: CH0110303119, CH0016271550
Valor: A1CUUB, 812950
Listed: Foreign Exchange(s) SIX
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