Ballard Reports First Quarter 2009 Results



    VANCOUVER, April 28 /CNW/ - Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD; NASDAQ:  
BLDP) announced its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009 today.
All amounts are in U.S. dollars, unless otherwise noted.
    "Our first quarter results are generally consistent with the outlook
provided in January, with weak product shipments and revenue in Q1, expected
to ramp up over the back half of the year," said John Sheridan, President and
CEO. He added, "While the negative macroeconomic backdrop is presenting clear
risks to Ballard's 15-30% revenue growth target, we still view this type of
growth as attainable, but given the risks in the environment, more likely to
the low end of this range."

    
    The company also confirmed its full year guidance for:
    -   Total product shipments: 4,000 units (115% growth from 2008)
    -   Operating cash consumption(1): $17 million to $27 million (7% to 40%
        reduction from 2008)

    First Quarter 2009 Overview

    -   Total Product Shipments of 192 units, a decrease from 284 units in Q1
        2008.
        -  Shipments expected to ramp up over the back half of the year.
    -   FCgen(TM)-1300 development program is on track for Indian market
        deployment.
    -   Commissioning of BC Transit Olympic Buses proceeding on schedule for
        bus delivery by the consortium starting in August 2009.
    -   Key progress in material handling, with lift truck fleet conversions
        by Plug Power for Central Grocers and Nestlé Waters.
    -   Organizational restructuring completed, resulting in a 7% workforce
        reduction with annual cost savings of approximately $4 million.
    -   Appointment of Bruce Cousins as CFO on April 6, 2009 and Michael
        Goldstein as Chief Commercial Officer on April 27, 2009.

    First Quarter 2009 Financial Highlights

    -   Revenue was $8.1 million (Q1 2008: $16.0 million).
        -  Product and service revenues for the core Fuel Cell Products
           segment of $3.9 million were consistent with the prior year
           quarter.
        -  The overall year over year quarterly decline was primarily driven
           by:
           -  The slow down in the automotive sector and its impact on
              Contract Automotive and Material Products revenues; and
           -  The decline in engineering development revenues due primarily
              to the elimination of automotive fuel cell development work
              subsequent to the closing of the AFCC transaction and
              completion of the 1kW residential cogeneration fuel cell
              development program, both in 2008.
    -   Operating expenses, excluding depreciation and amortization
        decreased $3.4 million.
        -  Research and product development decreased $3.8 million to
           $7.8 million.
        -  Sales and Marketing flat at $1.8 million.
        -  General and Administrative increased $0.4 million to $4.3 million,
           which includes $1.1 million in severance expense related to the 7%
           workforce reduction.
    -   Operating cash consumption(1) was $11.0 million, a 20% increase from
        $9.2 million in the first quarter of 2008.
    -   Net Loss was ($18.6) million or ($0.22) loss per share, a decrease of
        $99.6 million from Q1 2008 net income of $81.0 million. 2008 net
        income included a $97 million gain from the sale of our automotive
        assets.
    -   Normalized net loss(1) was ($17.5) million or ($0.21) per share,
        representing a $1.6 million increase in loss from Q1 2008
        ($15.9 million) driven by lower margins and engineering development
        revenues, partially offset by reductions in operating expenses.
    -   Cash reserves of $66.7 million and debt-free balance sheet.
    

    First Quarter 2009 Financial Results

    Ballard's revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2009 decreased to
$8.1 million, or 50%, compared to $16.0 million for the first quarter of 2008
due primarily to the continuing slowdown in the automotive sector negatively
impacting the supporting business segments. Contract Automotive and Material
Products revenues were down $5.6 million due to lower shipments of light-duty
automotive modules and carbon friction material products combined with the
elimination of light-duty automotive fuel cell program work subsequent to the
closing of the AFCC Transaction on January 31, 2008 (the "AFCC Transaction").
In addition, Fuel Cell Products engineering development revenues were down
$2.3 million due primarily to the completion of the 1kW residential
cogeneration fuel cell development program in the third quarter of 2008. In
the core Fuel Cell Products segment, product and service revenues of $3.9
million were essentially flat versus the prior year quarter of $4.0 million.
    Ballard's net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2009 increased to
$18.6 million, or ($0.22) per share, compared with net income of $81.0
million, or $0.87 per share, in the first quarter of 2008. The first quarter
net income in 2008 included a gain on sale of assets of $96.9 million related
to the AFCC Transaction. The first quarter net loss in 2009 included severance
and related costs of $1.1 million relating to a 7% workforce reduction
initiated in March 2009.
    Ballard's normalized net loss(1) for the first quarter of 2009 increased
$1.6 million to $17.5 million, or ($0.21) per share, compared with a
normalized net loss of $15.9 million, or ($0.17) per share, for 2008. Product
and service revenue and related gross margin declines of $4.0 million and $1.7
million, respectively, combined with lower engineering development revenues of
$3.9 million, were only partially offset by reductions in operating expenses
of $4.5 million. In addition, declines in investment and other income of $1.1
million negatively impacted normalized net loss in 2009 as compared to 2008.
    Operating cash consumption(1) for the three months ended March 31, 2009
increased 20% to $11.0 million, compared to $9.2 million for the first quarter
of 2008. The higher operating cash consumption in the first quarter of 2009
was driven by increased capital expenditures, a decline in investment income,
lower product and service gross margins and lower engineering development
revenues. These increases were partially offset by lower working capital
requirements and lower operating expenses.

    
    Total Product Shipments:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Three months ended March 31,
                                                  2009         2008 % Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Product Shipments                        192          284     (32%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Key Markets:
      Material Handling                              7           57     (88%)
      Backup Power                                  76           99     (23%)
      Residential Cogeneration                     102           49     108%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Revenue breakdown:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (Expressed in
     thousands of
     U.S. dollars)               Three months ended March 31,

                             2009                           2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Product  Engineering           Product  Engineering
                    and     Develop-               and     Develop-
                Service         ment    Total  Service         ment    Total
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Fuel Cell
       Products $ 3,912      $     -  $ 3,912  $ 4,006      $ 2,314  $ 6,320
      Contract
       Automo-
       tive       1,877            -    1,877    5,190        1,618    6,808
      Material
       Products   2,295            -    2,295    2,915            -    2,915
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                $ 8,084      $     -  $ 8,084  $12,111      $ 3,932  $16,043
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    For a more detailed discussion of Ballard Power Systems' first quarter
2009 results, please see the company's financial statements and management's
discussion & analysis, which are available at www.ballard.com, www.sedar.com
and www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Endnotes:
    ---------
    (1) Normalized net loss and operating cash consumption are non-GAAP
        measures 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. Normalized net loss measures Ballard's
        net loss after excluding items that are unusual in nature or do not
        reflect the normal continued operating activity of the business.
        Gains on sale of assets held for sale, losses from discontinued
        operations, write-downs of long-lived assets and severance and
        related costs are not considered part of Ballard's core activities,
        and are either unusual or are expected to occur infrequently.
        Therefore Ballard removes these in the calculation of normalized net
        loss. 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 net additions to
        property, plant and equipment.
    

    First Quarter 2009 Conference Call

    Ballard will hold a conference call to discuss its first quarter 2009
financial results on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 8:00 a.m. PST (11:00 a.m.
EST). The live call can be accessed by calling +1-604-638-5340. The live audio
webcast can be accessed through a link on Ballard's homepage
(www.ballard.com). Following the call, an audio recording will be available
for approximately 24 hours and can be accessed at +1-604-638-9010 using
confirmation number 6325 followed by number sign. The audio webcast with
slides will also be archived in the Investor Events & Conference Calls section
of Ballard's website for approximately 90 days.

    About Ballard Power Systems

    Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD; NASDAQ:   BLDP) 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.
    This release contains forward-looking statements, including estimated
future product shipments, revenue and operating cash consumption contained in
our outlook, which are provided to enable external stakeholders to understand
our expectations 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, delivering and
selling 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
condition of the global economy, 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.

    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


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890