Centrosolar optimistic despite negative H1

12. August 2011 | Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Becky Stuart

Adding a touch more light to solar’s primarily dim first half year, Centrosolar AG has announced it also expects to meet its full year targets, despite recording significant losses and battling difficult market conditions.

Centrosolar HQ image

Centrosolar's H1 operating result fell from €21.1 million in H1 2010 to €-4.9 million in 2011. The company is still optimistic however. Image: Centrosolar AG.

The German solar company is remaining optimistic, even in the face of a €58.7 million drop in H1 2011 revenues, which fell from €209.2 million in H1 2010 to €150.5 million. In particular, it says Q2 revenues took a battering, due to a "substantial decline" in market prices, falling from €124.2 million in Q2 2010 to €79.3 million in Q2 2011.

It places blame for the falling prices squarely on the Italian Government, which it accuses of "effectively suspending" solar incentives for two to three months, although it did also acknowledge the weak demand seen in Germany.

As with many of its peers, international markets provided some solace, with Centrosolar growing its share of revenues outside of Germany from 49 percent in H1 2010 to 63 percent in 2011.

The company’s gross margin was affected and, in combination with its North American and mounting systems expansion costs, this led to a significantly reduced H1 operating result of €-4.9 million. This is in comparison to the €21.1 million generated in H1 2010.

While the first six months of the year have not spelt good news for Centrosolar, it is of the belief that H2 will pick up. In a statement, it explains, " … the price cuts now offer the prospect of attractive rates of return for operators of photovoltaic (PV) systems; from the late summer on, this should translate into corresponding demand especially for roof-mounted solar systems ..."

In addition to growing solar markets in the U.K., Belgium and the U.S., the company says that photovoltaic rooftop demand is also picking back up in Italy.

For the full year, it expects to generate revenue of between €330 million and €380 million, in addition to a positive operating result.

"Because the purchase prices of solar cells have also fallen, Centrosolar stands to benefit from its flexible purchasing strategy," continued the statement. "With market prices currently stabilising, a marked improvement on the earnings side is also expected in the second half."

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