Hanwei announces fourth quarter financial and operational results

TSX: HE

VANCOUVER, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - Hanwei Energy Services Corp. ("Hanwei" or the "Company") today reported its financial results for the three and twelve month periods ended December 31, 2009. The Company has changed its fiscal year-end from December 31 to March 31 effective May 2009. For the transition year, the Company will be required to provide audited consolidated financial statements for the fifteen-month period from January 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010. Therefore, the three and twelve month results for 2009 are unaudited. All currency amounts referred to in this news release are in Canadian dollars unless stated otherwise.

    
    Summary of Financial Results

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In thousands of               For the three months  For the twelve months
     Canadian dollars except          ended Dec. 31         ended Dec. 31
     per share data
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      2009      2008(1)     2009      2008(1)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sales                            10,563     57,134     43,208     96,450
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating Income (loss)          (5,545)     5,497     (5,244)    10,825
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net Income (loss)                (7,688)     4,779    (11,271)     7,437
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings (loss) Per Share
     (basic & diluted)(2)             (0.13)      0.08      (0.19)      0.12
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Weighted average number of
     shares (in 000's)(2)
    Basic                            60,905     60,762     60,809     60,528
    Diluted                          60,905     61,298     60,809     61,756
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) Hanwei identified amounts relating to foreign exchange losses
        capitalized as property, plant and equipment in the year ended
        December 31, 2008 that should have been recorded as a period expense
        in the year ended December 31, 2008. The effects of the restatement
        on the comparative figures for the periods in 2008 were disclosed in
        the Company's news release dated November 13, 2009 and a reduction in
        basic and fully diluted earnings per share of $0.01 for the three and
        twelve month periods ended December 31, 2008 respectively. There is
        no material effect in 2009.

    (2) Earnings per share and weighted average number of shares do not take
        into account the 8,051,746 common shares of Hanwei issued in escrow
        as part of the earn-out provisions for the Deta acquisition.
    

Revenues were $10.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2009, compared to $57.1 million in the same period in 2008. Revenues were $43.2 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009, compared to $96.5 million in the same period in 2008. Net loss for the three months ended December 31, 2009 was $7.7 million compared to net income of $4.8 million for the same period in 2008. Net loss was $11.3 million for the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2009 compared to net income of $7.4 million for the same period in 2008. The decrease in revenue and net income for the three and twelve-month periods in 2009 were driven by a number of factors including timing of wind power deliveries, cancellations of orders and delivery delays of FRP pipe caused by extreme weather conditions, as well as write-downs totaling $5.4 million which include the capital investment in the proposed Kazakhstan facility ($1.7 million), obsolete production equipment ($1.5 million), and bad debt allowances ($1.1 million).

The Company had a basic and diluted loss per share of $0.13 for the three months ended December 31, 2009 versus basic and diluted earnings per share of $0.08 for same period in 2008. For the twelve-month period, the Company reported a basic and diluted loss per share of $0.19 versus basic and diluted earnings per share of $0.12 for the comparable period in 2008. As at December 31, 2009, the Company had approximately 60.9 million common shares issued and outstanding, which excludes the 8,051,746 shares issued and held in escrow under the earn-out provisions for the acquisition of Daqing Deta Electric Co., Ltd. ("Deta").

As at December 31, 2009, the Company had working capital of $41.4 million, cash and short term investments totaling $2.8 million, no long term debt, and bank debt totaling $42.3 million.

    
    Segmented Results - Revenues

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenues                         Three months ended   Twelve months ended
    (in $Cdn. thousands)                December 31           December 31
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      2009       2008       2009       2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    FRP Pipe                         $3,945    $21,560    $31,818    $46,627
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wind Power                        6,264     34,018      9,876     46,604
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    FGD                                 354      1,556      1,514      3,218
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                           $10,563    $57,134    $43,208    $96,450
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

FRP Pipe

Revenues for the pipe business declined 82 percent and 32 percent respectively for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2009 compared to the same periods in 2008. Extremely cold weather conditions during the fourth quarter of 2009 in northern China, where some of the Company's largest customers are located, caused cancellations and delays of oil field installations during this peak season. Additionally, the economic downturn in 2009 led to significantly reduced sales orders throughout the year from the Kazakhstan market and certain areas of the Chinese market. In the three and twelve month periods, FRP Pipe represented 38 percent and 73 percent of overall revenue respectively. Despite the decline in revenues, the pipe business remains profitable with an operating profit of $2.3 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009.

Wind Power

Revenues for the wind power business declined 82 percent and 79 percent respectively for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2009. In the fourth quarter, Hanwei delivered two turbines, and 12 towers compared to 28 turbines and 15 blades during the fourth quarter of 2008. Year to date, the wind power business delivered two turbines, 17 sets of blades and 12 towers as compared to 40 turbines and eight sets of blades in the same period in 2008. Deliveries for the wind power business are driven by the Company's sole customer's wind farm development schedules. The conditions for wind power equipment manufacturers have changed significantly since Hanwei started its wind power business in 2007. The rules regarding Chinese content for wind power turbines have been relaxed allowing foreign competitors to enter the Chinese market. Domestic manufacturers of wind power turbines have increased capacity to a point where there is excess supply, which has put downward pressure on prices and made it more difficult for early stage manufacturers to gain market share. Given the significant changes in market dynamics and policy direction impacting wind turbine manufacturers in China, Hanwei has initiated an internal review of its wind power business and is assessing a number of strategic options.

FGD

Revenues for the FGD business were comparable to 2008. However, the Company began sharing 50 percent of the revenues from this segment effective February 2009 pursuant to the joint venture agreement with Ershigs. All revenues in this segment were generated from the sale of the joint venture's spray header products. New products based on the technologies that the Hanwei Ershigs joint venture licensed from Ershigs, Inc., its joint venture partner, are currently being introduced to the China market and have yet to generate any revenue.

The FGD business is dependent on regulations in China that require coal power companies to install sulphur dioxide scrubbers, however China's big five coal power companies have delayed most new coal plant construction due to the reduced demand for new capacity in China caused by the economic slow-down. These projects are expected to proceed in the medium term to long-term as demand for new coal fired energy capacity in China is expected to be strong.

Summary Results of Operations

Gross Profit

Gross profit was $1.5 million for the three months ended December 31, 2009, as compared to $10.1 million in the same period in 2008. Gross profit was $15.0 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009, as compared to $25.2 million in the same period in 2008. The decrease in gross profit was primarily caused by the decline of revenues in both the pipe and the wind power business. Gross profit margin as a percentage of revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2009 decreased from 18 percent to 14 percent as compared to the same period in 2008 due to revenue mix. For the three months ended December 31, 2009, the Company generated 59 percent of its revenues from the wind power business as compared to 23 percent for the same period in 2008. The wind power business had a lower gross margin as a percentage of revenues as compared to the pipe business. Gross profit as a percentage of revenues for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009 on the other hand improved to 35 percent from 26 percent for the same periods in 2008. The improvement of gross profit margin as a percentage of revenues for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009 was primarily driven by two factors. Firstly, the pricing for the pipe business in international markets such as Kazakhstan improved as compared to 2008, and secondly, there was a change in the customer mix in the pipe business, which resulted in more revenues being generated from Chinese customers. Sales to Chinese customers typically generate higher gross profit margins.

Expenses

Sales and marketing expenses were $1.5 million or 14 percent of revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2009 as compared to $1.9 million or 3 percent of revenues for the same period in 2008. Sales and marketing expenses were $5.2 million or 12 percent of revenues for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009 as compared to $4.9 million or 5 percent of revenues for the same period in 2008. Sales and marketing expenses increased slightly during the first three quarters of 2009 due to increased efforts in the international markets for the pipe business and the addition of a new sales team for the wind power business. During the fourth quarter of 2009, the Company reduced its selling activities for the pipe business due to the impact of severe cold weather. The Company also reduced selling activities for the wind power business in an anticipated restructuring of the wind power business.

Research and development ("R&D") expenses were $0.6 million or 6 percent of revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2009 as compared to $0.7 million or 1 percent of revenues for the same period in 2008. R&D expenses were $1.4 million or 3 percent of revenues for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009 as compared to $1.0 million or 1 percent of revenues for the same period in 2008. The increase in R&D expenses was caused by increased activities in the pipe business for new large diameter products and the application of wind power technologies.

General and administrative ("G&A") expenses were $5.0 million or 47 percent of revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2009 as compared to $2.1 million or 4 percent of revenues for the same period in 2008. G&A expense were $13.7 million or 32 percent of revenues for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009 as compared to $8.4 million or 9 percent of revenues for the same period in 2008. G&A expenses include $2.4 million in one-time or unusual expense such as increase in bad debt allowance and the overhead related to the construction project for the proposed Kazakhstan plant, which was cancelled. G&A expenses also included costs for an expanded corporate headquarters in Beijing, an administrative office for the pipe business in Beijing and an expanded administrative team for the wind power business for the first three quarters of 2009. Towards the end of 2009, the Company implemented a downsizing plan, which is expected to reduce future G&A expenses. This includes the consolidation of three offices in Beijing into one and an overall headcount reduction throughout various functions of the Company.

Operating Income(Loss) (Earnings(Loss) before Interest, Other Interest (Expense), Taxes, and Non-Controlling-Interest)

The Company had operating loss of $5.5 million for the three months ended December 31, 2009, representing a decrease of $11.0 million as compared to the same period in 2008. The decrease was caused by the decline of revenues and the increase in G&A expenses. The Company had operating loss of $5.2 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009, a decrease of $16.1 million as compared to the same period in 2008. The decrease was caused by the decline of revenues and increase in G&A expenses and certain one time charges.

Interest Expense

Interest expense was $0.9 million and $3.6 million respectively for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2009 as compared to $0.5 million and $1.7 million respectively for the same periods in 2008. The increase in interest expenses was due to higher level of debt. The increase in debt is consistent with the Company's funding strategies.

Other Income (Expense)

The Company incurred certain one-time expenses under "Other Income (Expense)" for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2009. These include expense of $1.7 million as result of write-off of construction overheads and construction assets incurred by the Company in Kazakhstan as the Company cancelled its construction project there; and expense of $1.5 million as a result of write-down of certain production equipment at Harvest due to their obsolete technology.

Income Tax Expense (Recovery)

Income tax recovery was $0.3 million for the three months ended December 31, 2009 and income tax expense was $0.01 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009 as compared to income tax expense of $0.1 million and $1.3 million respectively for the same periods in 2008. The income tax recovery or expense was driven by net income or loss of each of the operating subsidiaries of the Company.

Non-controlling Interest

The non-controlling interest in Deta, arising from Hanwei's acquisition of 99 percent of the equity interest of Deta in November 2008, was a recovery of $0.01 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2009 as compared to expense of $0.1 million and $0.4 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2008. The amounts in 2008 resulted from a 9 percent minority interest of China National Petroleum Corporation ("CNPC") in Harvest, which Hanwei acquired from CNPC in November 2008.

Cash Position

As at December 31, 2009, the Company has cash and short-term investments of $2.8 million. As of January 31, 2010, the Company has cash and short-term investments of approximately $4.5 million.

Cash provided by operating activities was $5.7 million for the three months ended December 31, 2009 as compared to $14.3 million for the same period in 2008. Cash provided by operating activities decreased due to reduction in revenues. Cash applied to operating activities was $11.6 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009 as compared to $34.8 million for the same period in 2008. Cash applied to operating activities decreased due to improved collections in the pipe business offset by reduced revenues. Cash used in investing activities was $0.8 million and $7.1 million respectively for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2009 as compared to $1.1 million and $5.6 million respectively for the same periods in 2008. Reduced investing activities were primarily due to the substantial completion of the Tianjin plant offset by maturity of short term investments. Cash used in financing activities was $5.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2009 due to net repayment of short term debts as compared to $9.2 million for the same period in 2008. Cash provided by financing activities was $10.0 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009 due to net proceeds from short term loans as compared to $34.3 million for the same period in 2008.

Working Capital

Working capital was $41.4 million as December 31, 2009, a decrease of $16.7 million from $58.1 million as of December 31, 2008. This decrease was largely due to an increase in accounts payable and short-term loans. Inventory increased by $2.0 million due to unexpected low shipments in the fourth quarter for the pipe business. Prepayments decreased by $2.2 million as most of the prepaid supply contracts were executed in the fourth quarter to finance inventory and shipments. Accounts payable and accrued liabilities increased by $6.2 million due to increased payment terms with suppliers.

Plant, Equipment and Construction in Progress

Plant and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation and amortization, was $45.6 million as at December 31, 2009, a decrease of $2.5 million compared with $48.1 million as at December 31, 2008. During the fourth quarter of 2009, certain production equipment with a value of $1.5 million at Harvest was written down due to their obsolete technology. Certain assets with a value of $0.7 million acquired by Hanwei Kazakhstan for the construction of a proposed facility were also written off upon cancellation of the construction project.

Outlook

With the worldwide economy recovering and oilfield investment increasing, the Company expects its pipe business will perform better in 2010. The wind power business is facing a dramatically changing market environment, and the Company is reviewing its strategy for the wind power business with a view to restructuring. The Company's FGD business is expected to grow but will remain relatively small in 2010.

The Company's 2010 growth plan requires additional capital, mainly working capital to support the growth of its pipe business. Management plans to finance these capital needs with cash from operations and debt facilities, which have been arranged with Chinese banks. However, if such debt facilities are not available, the Company may be required to curtail its intended initiatives and transactions, which may result in incurring certain associated costs.

Conference Call

Hanwei will be holding a conference call to discuss its financial results for the period ended December 31, 2009.

    
    Date:                  Friday, February 12, 2010

    Time:                  10:00 a.m., Eastern Time

    Dial in number:        1-888-455-2296 or 1-719-325-2430

    Taped Replay:          1-888-203-1112 or 1-719-457-0820 (available
                           for 14 days)

    Taped Replay Pass Code:2240832

    Live Webcast Link:     http://viavid.net/dce.aspx?sid=000070C0
    

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION AND NON-GAAP MEASURES

Certain information in this press release is forward-looking within the meaning of certain securities laws, and is subject to important risks, uncertainties and assumptions. This forward-looking information includes, among other things, information with respect to the recovery of the world economy, the Company's downsizing plan, the planned restructuring of Its wind power business, and the capital and financing needs of the Company, as well as information with respect to the Company's beliefs, plans, expectations, anticipations, estimates and intentions. The words "may", "could", "should", "would", "suspect", "outlook", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "plan", "target" and similar words and expressions are used to identify forward-looking information. The forward-looking information is based on certain assumptions, which could change materially in the future, including the assumption that the world economy will recover, the Company's pipe business prospects will be positive, the wind power business will be restructured to address the changing wind power market conditions, the Company's FGD business will grow, the Company will implement its downsizing plan and expenses will be reduced as a result of such a plan, the Company will conclude and implement a restructuring of its wind power business, and the Company will meet its capital and financing needs. The forward-looking information in this press release describes the Company's expectations as of the date of this press release. Material factors or risks which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from a conclusion in such forward-looking information include the risk that the world economy does not recover as expected, the Company's pipe business does not perform positively, the restructuring of the Company's wind power business does not succeed, the Company's FGD business does not grow as expected, the Company is unable to implement its downsizing plan at all, partially or in a way substantially different than planned, expenses will not be reduced as a result of any downsizing plans, and the Company is not able to meet its capital and financing needs, as well as the risks set out in the risk factors section of Hanwei's Annual Information Form dated March 31, 2009, and the Company's press releases filed subsequent there to, all filed with Canadian securities regulators and available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

The Company has included in this press release figures based on, gross profit, gross margin, working capital and orders received, which are non-GAAP measures. Readers are cautioned that such measures are not recognized under Canadian GAAP and should not be construed to be an indicator of performance or liquidity or cash flows. The Company's method of calculating this measure may differ from the method used by other entities and accordingly the Company's measure may not be comparable to the measure used by other entities.

THE FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS PRESS RELEASE PRESENTS THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE COMPANY AS OF THE DATE OF THIS PRESS RELEASE AND, ACCORDINGLY, IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AFTER SUCH DATE. READERS SHOULD NOT PLACE UNDUE IMPORTANCE ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION AND SHOULD NOT RELY UPON THIS INFORMATION AS OF ANY OTHER DATE. WHILE THE COMPANY MAY ELECT TO, THE COMPANY DOES NOT UNDERTAKE TO UPDATE THIS INFORMATION AT ANY PARTICULAR TIME, EXCEPT AS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE SECURITIES LEGISLATION.

SOURCE HANWEI ENERGY SERVICES CORP.

For further information: For further information: Kim Oishi, Senior Vice President, Finance and Business Development, Telephone: (416) 804-9228, koishi@hanweienergy.com; Yucai (Rick) Huang, Chief Financial Officer, Telephone: (604) 685-2239, yhuang@hanweienergy.com; Kevin O'Connor, Investor Relations, Telephone: (416) 962-3300, ko@spinnakercmi.com

Organization Profile

HANWEI ENERGY SERVICES CORP.

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