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Ballard posts big net loss for 2022

Lower revenues blamed on poorer than expected performance in China
Ballard CEO Randy MacEwen says he believes his company is positioned to compete in 2023

Ballard Power Systems (TSX,NASDAQ:BLDP) stock took a brief dive this morning in response to humiliating annual financial statements before recovering.

The Burnaby-based fuel cell firm's stock dropped by about five per cent this morning with the release of the company's fourth quarter financials, but had fully recovered within a couple of hours.

Ballard Power has never in its history recorded a year-end profit, but its annual losses had at least appeared to be on a path to zero in recent years.

In 2018, Ballard recorded a net loss of just $27.3 million on revenues of $96.6 million. But since then, annual losses have edged up.

In 2021, the company posted a net loss of $114 million on revenue of $104.5 million.

Today, Ballard released an annual financial report that recorded a net loss of $173.5 million on revenues of $83.8 million.

Ballard makes hydrogen fuel cells, the demand for which has been increasing, driven by mandates to decarbonize.

One of the bigger markets for Ballard is China, and Ballard has invested there, including in a joint venture with Chinese engine manufacturer Weichai Group. Ballard CEO Randy MacEwen blamed the lower revenues in 2022 on slower than expected growth in the Chinese market.

"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," MacEwen said in a news release. "We are working closely with our Weichai-Ballard JV to unlock growth in the China fuel cell bus and truck markets.

“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.”

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