August 12, 2014 / 9:00 AM / 3 years ago

Swiss solar supplier Meyer Burger's net loss widens

* Net loss widens to 88 million Sfr

* Analysts had forecast net loss of 51 mln Sfr

* New orders rise 90 pct to 157 mln Sfr

ZURICH, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Swiss solar industry supplier Meyer Burger posted a bigger-than-expected net loss in the first half of the year as investments in machinery outweighed rising sales and orders.

A global glut of solar equipment caused by government subsidies to encourage green energy has led to falling prices for more than two years and thrown many of Meyer Burger's customers into crisis. The company has not reported a profit since the first half of 2011.

The maker of production systems for solar wafers, cells and modules said its net loss widened to 88 million Swiss francs ($97 million) in the first six months of this year, from 80.6 million in the same period of 2013. Analysts had, on average, forecast a net loss of 51 million francs in a Reuters poll.

The result was hit by investments of 40 million francs. The company, which raised 77.8 million francs through the sale of new stock in March, burned through 98.7 million francs of cash in the first half.

Helvea analyst Stefan Gaechter, who rates the stock "hold", said business would need to improve to prevent Meyer Burger from having to cut costs and raise more money.

Sales rose 43 percent to 129 million francs, but were significantly short of the average forecast of 183 million in the Reuters poll of analysts. A 90 percent rise in new orders to 157 million francs also missed expectations.

The company said it expected to achieve substantial improvements in new orders and sales in the full year compared with 2013.

Last week, Germany's biggest solar group SMA Solar posted its seventh straight quarterly operating loss and warned of high pricing pressure in coming months.

1 US dollar = 0.9080 Swiss franc Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Pravin Char

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