dhe battery manufacturer Varta has slipped into the red. From July to September, there was an adjusted loss before interest and taxes of 2.5 million euros, the group surprisingly announced on Thursday based on preliminary figures.
In the same quarter of last year, Varta made a profit of 70 million euros. Turnover fell in the period by a seventh to 194 million euros. In 2021 as a whole, Varta had achieved a margin of 31 percent.
Varta, which is traded as a German battery heap, cited higher raw material and energy costs as the reason. In addition, projects for customers are delayed. It must also be batteries for Apple’s Airpods. Apple wants to avoid being dependent on individual suppliers.
Stock rides a roller coaster
Investors found it difficult to understand the numbers. The share price initially fell by about 5 percent, then rose to 3 percent, only to slide back into the red shortly after. Shortly before the close of trading, the value was slightly negative and thus in the middle of the M-Dax. The stock has lost four-fifths of its value within a year, about half since mid-September alone. The group initially lowered its targets for this year over the summer and completely conceded them in mid-September.
At the end of September, the company also said goodbye to its old CEO Herbert Schein, who now has to build the company with batteries for electric cars, which Varta has great hopes for. Austrian Markus Hackstein, who is seen as a confidant of Michael Tojner, will take over as spokesman for the board.
Tojner is a controversial Austrian billionaire who is the majority shareholder of Varta through a Swiss conglomerate. Tojner caused a stir at the end of September amid the unrest by selling a large stake in Varta. An investigation by the financial regulator Bafin has not yet been carried out, a spokeswoman for Bafin confirmed on request on Thursday.