Ballard Reports 2008 Operating Achievements and Provides 2009 Outlook



    VANCOUVER, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD; NASDAQ:  
BLDPD) announced its operating achievements for the year ended December 31,
2008 and provided an outlook for 2009 today. All amounts are in U.S. dollars,
unless otherwise noted.
    "2008 was a successful year for Ballard, both in terms of solid operating
results and transformational progress," said John Sheridan, President and CEO.
"Given this progress, our outlook for 2009 is for strong commercial growth,
despite the challenging macro-economic conditions. We expect this to be driven
primarily by sales of our FCgen(TM) products for backup power in India and the
EU, and FCvelocity(TM) products for material handling in the USA".

    2008 Achievements

    
    Transformational Progress
    -------------------------
    -   Completed strategic re-positioning with the closing of the automotive
        transaction on January 31, recording a $97 million gain.
    -   Strengthened financial position by further reducing operating cash
        consumption(1), and by augmenting cash reserves with the closing of
        the non-dilutive financing transaction with Superior Plus on December
        31, with net cash proceeds of approximately $34 million.
    -   Accelerated fuel cell product adoption as evidenced by the high
        volume supply agreement with ACME Tele Power announced on October 9,
        and the extended supply agreement with Plug Power in tandem with the
        Central Grocers full fleet order for 220 GenDrive(TM) units announced
        by Plug on December 11.

    Solid Operating Results
    -----------------------
    -   Product shipments exceeded Ballard's 2008 target of 1,700 units, with
        a total of 1,855 units shipped.
    -   Revenue met revised guidance, ending the year at approximately $59
        million (unaudited), achieving approximately 15% growth over prior
        year's revenue on a pro-forma basis, adjusting for automotive
        engineering development.
    -   Operating cash consumption(1) met full year guidance at approximately
        $29 million (unaudited), down 24% from 2007, despite a $3 million
        negative impact in 2008 from FX losses resulting from mark to market
        adjustments on Canadian monetary assets.
    -   Cash reserves of approximately $85 million.

    Please note that the 2008 financial results are unaudited and Ballard
expects to release its audited 2008 year-end financial results on March 4,
2009.

    2009 Outlook

    -   Growth in total product shipments to 4,000 units, more than double
        the 2008 level
         -   Material Handling - 1,000 FCvelocity(TM)-9SSL units;
         -   Backup Power - 2,500 FCgen(TM)-1020 and FCgen(TM)-1300 units;
             and
         -   Residential Cogeneration - 500 FCgen(TM)-1030 units.
    -   Revenue growth of 15% to 30% ($68 million to $78 million).
    -   Operating cash consumption(1) reduction of 7% to 40% ($17 million to
        $27 million).
    

    The operating cash consumption(1) outlook reflects a year over year
improvement in product and service margins and significant reductions in
operating expenses and working capital requirements, partially offset by
increased expenditures of approximately $3 million for FCgen(TM)-1300 product
development and approximately $5 million for increased production capacity for
projected 2010 volume growth.

    Conference Calls

    Ballard will hold a conference call to discuss its 2008 operating
achievements and provide an outlook for 2009 on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at
8:00 a.m. PST (11:00 a.m. EST). Access to the January 27th, call may be
obtained by calling the operator at +1-604-638-5340 before the scheduled start
time. A playback version of the call will be available for 24 hours after the
call at +1-604-638-9010. The confirmation number to access the playback is
6325#. The simultaneous audio web cast can be accessed at
http://services.choruscall.com/links/ballard090127.html and will be archived
for replay.
    Ballard will also hold a conference call to discuss its 2008 fourth
quarter and year-end financial results on March 4, 2009. Further details will
be announced closer to the date.

    About Ballard Power Systems

    Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD; NASDAQ:   BLDPD) is recognized as a world
leader in the design, development, manufacture and sale of clean energy fuel
cell products. Ballard's mission is to accelerate fuel cell product adoption.
To learn more about what Ballard is doing with Power to Change the World(R),
visit www.ballard.com.
    As per NASDAQ rules, for a period of 20 trading days following the
effective date of the plan of arrangement with Superior Plus Income Fund, the
company will trade on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol "BLDPD" to
notify the market that the company has gone through a substitution listing
event. Beginning on February 2, 2009, the company will trade again under the
usual symbol of "BLDP".

    This release contains forward-looking statements, including the estimated
product shipments, revenue and operating cash consumption(1), which are
provided to enable external stakeholders to understand Ballard's outlook as at
the date of this release and may not be appropriate for other purposes. These
forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs and assumptions of
Ballard's management and reflect Ballard's current expectations as
contemplated under section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and
Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such
assumptions relate to Ballard's financial forecasts and expectations regarding
its product development efforts, manufacturing capacity, and market demand,
and include matters such as generating new sales, producing and delivering the
expected number of units, and controlling its costs.
    These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause Ballard's
actual results to be materially different, including, without limitation, the
rate of mass adoption of its products, product development delays, changing
environmental regulations, its ability to attract and retain business partners
and customers, its access to funding, increased competition, its ability to
protect its intellectual property, changes in its customers' requirements,
foreign exchange impacts on its net monetary assets and its ability to provide
the capital required for product development, operations and marketing. For a
detailed discussion of these risk factors and other risk factors that could
affect Ballard's future performance, please refer to Ballard's most recent
Annual Information Form. Readers should not place undue reliance on Ballard's
forward-looking statements and Ballard assumes no obligation to update or
release any revisions to these forward looking statements, other than as
required under applicable legislation.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Endnotes:
    ---------
    (1) Operating cash consumption is a non-GAAP measure used to assist in
    assessing Ballard's financial performance. Non-GAAP measures do not have
    any standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP and are therefore unlikely to
    be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Operating
    cash consumption measures the amount of cash required to fund the
    operating activities of Ballard's business and excludes financing and
    investing activities except for additions to property, plant and
    equipment.
    

    Ballard, the Ballard logo and Power to Change the World are registered
trademarks of Ballard Power Systems Inc.





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview with a Ballard
spokesperson, please contact Amy Harada Bradley at telephone number (604)
412-7913 or on e-mail amy.harada@ballard.com.


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