Ballard Power Systems’s Loss Up 77% to $48.9 Million

The quarter saw a total revenue of $46.8 million, marking a 132% YoY increase


Fuel cell manufacturer Ballard Power Systems has reported a net loss of $48.9 million in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023, an increase of 77.17% year-over-year (YoY) from a net loss of $42.9 million, as operational expenses surge.

The quarter saw a total revenue of $46.8 million, marking a 132% YoY increase. The heavy-duty mobility segment experienced a surge, with revenue reaching $29 million, showing a 219% YoY increase. The growth was attributed to heightened revenues in various sectors such as bus, truck, rail, and marine.

In the stationary segment, revenue reached $12.8 million, reflecting a 105% YoY increase. This boost was primarily driven by elevated shipments to European customers.

The emerging and other markets segment reported flat revenue of $4.9 million compared to the previous year. Although there was increased revenue from off-highway customers, it was offset by a decline in technology solutions revenue.

Operating expenses amounted to $35 million, which is a 16% YoY increase from Q4 2022. The rise in total operating expenses was primarily influenced by elevated spending on research and product development.

Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) stood at $44.1 million, an increase of 9.97% as opposed to $40.1 million in Q4 2022. This change can be attributed mainly to an increased gross margin loss, primarily caused by inventory impairment charges.

The order backlog as of the end of 2023 declined by 3% to $130.5 million compared to the end of Q3. Despite a new order intake of $64.7 million in Q4, this positive momentum was offset by a $47.1 million reduction attributed to record engine shipments during the quarter.

Additionally, $21.7 million was removed from the order backlog due to previously booked orders from a specific customer-facing financing and program delays.

Power products orders constitute over 80% of the order backlog, with nearly 80% of the backlog coming from customers in Europe and North America.

“Our transition to a commercial products company is gaining momentum, with growing market acceptance of our fuel cell engines across our verticals,” said Randy MacEwen, President and CEO. “We shipped a record number of fuel cell engines in the quarter, allowing us to close out the year with Q4 revenue of $46.8 million, up 132% year-over-year. We also booked $64.7 million of new orders in Q4, resulting in a product-based Order Backlog now 15% higher than the same period last year.”

During the earnings call, MacEwen added, “For the U.S. in particular, 2023 was a milestone year from a policy perspective, as seven hubs were awarded $7 billion to support the adoption of hydrogen across the value chain, while the IRS provided guidance for the 45B green hydrogen production tax credit. These policies, combined with electric grid limitations, will provide favorable tailwinds to our industry through 2032.”

Full Year 2023

For the full year, the company recorded a net loss of $144.2 million, a YoY improvement of 10% from $160.4 million in the previous year.

During the year, the company recorded revenue of $102.4 million, a 25% YoY increase, and EBITDA stood at $150.1 million, marking an increase of 13% YoY.

The company said its outlook for 2024 is promising, with expected growth in the order backlog, significant order announcements in their bus and stationary power sectors, and the revelation of upcoming manufacturing facility.

“In 2023, given an increasingly constructive hydrogen policy landscape and increased market activity in the U.S. and Europe, and given the continued hydrogen fuel cell policy uncertainties and market delays in China, as well as geopolitical risks, we decided to suspend our MEA localization plan in China while we completed a comparative analysis on manufacturing capacity expansion options and possible sequencing prioritization in the U.S. and or European markets,” MacEwen said.

Ballard Power Systems reported a net loss of $62.4 million (~$749,437) in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023, marking an increase of 46% year-over-year (YoY) from a net loss of $42.9 million (~$515,238).

In January this year, Adani Enterprises signed an agreement to launch a pilot project to develop a hydrogen fuel cell electric truck with Ashok Leyland and Ballard Power. The collaboration marks Asia’s first planned hydrogen-powered mining truck, with FCET scheduled to be launched in India in 2023.