Ballard Power Systems announced consolidated financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2022. All amounts are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted and have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
"With an increasingly constructive policy landscape for hydrogen globally, we are excited by the growing end customer interest to decarbonize mobility and stationary power applications with fuel cells," said Randy MacEwen, President and CEO. "2022 proved to be an important year for Ballard as we achieved key customer platform wins across our verticals of bus, truck, rail and marine, along with early traction in select stationary power applications. This dynamic is supporting our planned transition of Ballard's business model to a heavier focus on growing sales of Power Products and reduced relative contribution of Technology Solutions. Bolstered by strong order intake in Q4 in Europe and North America, we ended 2022 with an Order Backlog of $133.4 million, with Power Products up more than double from the end of 2021 and up almost 60% from the end of Q3."
"We are also excited with the measured progress we are making on our investments in strategic technology and product development programs and advanced manufacturing initiatives, underpinning our roadmap for continued product performance improvements while also achieving significant product cost reductions," Mr. MacEwen added.
Mr. MacEwen continued, "In Q4, we delivered revenue of $20.5 million and gross margin of (29)%. On revenue, we continue to be disappointed with delayed adoption in the China market and low activity levels at the Weichai-Ballard JV, which weighed on our 2022 results. We are working closely with our Weichai-Ballard JV to unlock growth in the China fuel cell bus and truck markets. Gross margin results partly reflect strategic pricing on customer platform wins during a period of inflationary costs. We expect these dynamics to persist into 2024 until our volume ramps and our product cost reduction initiatives move into production. On costs, we achieved our guided targets for total operating expenses and capital expenditures for full year 2022. We ended the year with $913.7 million in cash reserves."
Mr. MacEwen concluded, "In 2023, we believe we are well positioned to compete and grow in an increasingly exciting market. We continue to prudently manage our balance sheet as we execute on our planned investments in technology and products, advanced manufacturing, product cost reduction, our local-for-local manufacturing strategy, and providing an outstanding customer experience."
Q4 2022 Financial Highlights
(all comparisons are to Q4 2021 unless otherwise noted)
Total revenue was $20.5 million in the quarter, down 44% year-over-year.
Power Products revenue of $13.5 million decreased 49%, driven by lower shipments of fuel cell products.
Heavy-Duty revenues of $9.2 million decreased 59% due to lower shipments of fuel cell products in China and Europe.
Stationary Power Generation revenues of $2.7 million decreased 2%, due to lower sales in Europe, partially offset by increased sales in China.
Material Handling revenues of $1.6 million increased 23%, primarily as a result of higher shipments to Plug Power.
Technology Solutions revenue of $7.0 million decreased 31% due primarily to decreased amounts earned on the Weichai Ballard JV and substantial completion of the Audi program.
Gross margin was (29)% in the quarter, a decrease of 42-points, driven by a combination of a greater weight of power products in the revenue mix, pricing strategy, increased investment in manufacturing capacity, increases in supply costs and inventory adjustments.
Total Operating Expenses and Cash Operating Costs3 were $37.0 million and $30.6 million, respectively, in the quarter, an increase of 15% and 15%, respectively. Increases were driven primarily by higher expenditure on research, technology and product development activities.
Adjusted EBITDA3 was ($46.4) million, compared to ($25.5) million in Q4 2021, primarily a result of the decrease in gross margin and increase in Cash Operating Costs.
Ballard received approximately $52.2 million of new orders in Q4, and delivered orders valued at $20.5 million, resulting in an Order Backlog of approximately $133.4 million at end-Q4. Order Backlog growth was driven predominantly by increased orders from Europe, which now represent approximately 64% of the total Order Backlog, compared to approximately 38% at end-Q4 2021. Specifically, the Power Products backlog as of Q4 2022 is more than double the amount in Q4 2021, and is up almost 60% from end-Q3 2022.
The 12-month Order Book was $57.3 million at end-Q4, an increase of $6.3 million from the end of Q3 2022. The 12-month Power Products Order Book increased by 37% as compared to end-Q4 2021 and by a similar percentage from the end of Q3 2022. Additionally, order intake in of $52.2 million in Q4 2022 was 124% higher than the 12 month average ending in Q3 2022 of $23.3 million.
Consistent with the Company's past practice, and in view of the early stage of hydrogen fuel cell market development and adoption, we are not providing specific revenue or net income (loss) guidance for 2023. In 2023, we continue our plan to invest in the business ahead of the hydrogen growth curve.