Axion Power’s Sales of Lead-Carbon Batteries Grew in 2012
Axion Power International, Inc. announced that for 2012, revenue was $9.8 million with a net loss of $8.6 million or $0.08 loss per share, compared to revenue of $8.1 million with a net loss of $8.3 million or $0.10 loss per share for 2011. The increase in revenue was principally due to the sale of specialty lead-acid batteries to a major lead-acid battery company that sells the batteries under its own brand â€“ but the revenue in the fourth quarter included $475,000 from the sale, recognized in the period, of PbC batteries to Norfolk Southern for a yard-switcher locomotive. The Norfolk Southern sale was the first significant sale of PbC batteries.
Chairman & CEO Thomas Granville commented, "Axion continued to make important strides in the fourth quarter, making 2012 a landmark year overall. Obviously our best year ever will be the first year when PbC revenue starts to show significant growth but it was a good step in that direction that we were able to recognize the first big PbC sale in the 4th quarter, to Norfolk Southern. This coincides with our first 10K filing without "development stage company" status. With our increase in sales, and more specifically sales of our core business product, we are now recognized as a commercial entity for filing purposes. Further developments, in our transportation segment, included our exclusive arrangement to provide ePower Engine Systems with PbC batteries.
â€œePower retrofits Class 8 trucks (18-wheelers) into hybrid electric operations, using PbC batteries in strings to assist diesel engines and provide constant power to the drive system. The result is significant fuel savings. The first of those trucks is on the road now completing testing with load and it is confirming ePower's claims of money-saving fuel efficiencies. These power-assist operations are separate and distinct from the 'anti idling' program we have, that enables a driver to operate various electrical functions with the diesel engine turned off. International automobile manufacturers continue to express strong interest and test the functionality of PbC batteries for micro-hybrid start-stop applications in new cars and light trucks.
"Our Residential Energy Storage Hub segment qualified for UL and CSA standards in the 4th quarter, and can be used throughout North America with those certifications. Our strategic partnership with Rosewater Energy Group is in place, and we are told that interest in the Hub product line is increasing. We are taking the Hub products to a second design stage working with a new outside vendor whose products and electronics will enable us to upgrade our quality assurance and maintainability. We completed our onsite PowerCube in December of 2011 and it was immediately tied into the PJM utility network. We completed our Siltek project for the US Washington DC Navy Yard in the summer of 2012. These projects are part of the reason that we have seen a huge increase in proposal activity in our energy storage systems overall. These include grid tied applications as well as stand-alones that incorporate renewables such as wind and solar and are located in and out of North America." Granville stated.
He also added that subsequent to the end of 2012, the Company commissioned its automated continuous roll carbon sheeting process, which was the last major hurdle in completely automating the manufacture of PbC products. "We believe that with this final process in place, PbC manufacturing is now completely scalable with the capability of easily being replicated at any battery facility throughout the world".
As of December 31, 2012, Axion had $2.0 million in cash and equivalents, and total current assets of $5.8 million, versus cash of $2.0 million and total current assets of $5.3 million at December 31, 2011. The current ratio at December 31, 2012, was 5.8:1 versus 5.0:1 at December 31, 2011. The Company's plan at the end of 2011 was to raise go forward capital in two stages in early 2012 and early 2013 in order to achieve its goals for 2013 and beyond. The Company has not wavered in pursuing that strategy and to that end, has been working with a highly reputable and experienced investment bank.
Granville concluded, "We have always believed, and continue to believe, that PbC is a game-changing, disruptive technology that will serve as an enabler for other products to economically, and in some cases â€“ safely, come to market and deliver the performance and value for which they were designed. We believe that we are off to an excellent start in 2013, a start that will firmly position us for a step change year."