Centrotherm ups full year guidance, despite falling EBIT

28. October 2011 | Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Becky Stuart

Going against the grain, centrotherm photovoltaics AG has adjusted both its revenue and EBIT margin guidance for the full year 2011. Certain areas of the business are suffering from the "strained" market conditions though, and its EBIT has taken a massive tumble.

Centrotherm branding

Centrotherm's EBIT has taken a knock this quarter. Image: Centrotherm photovoltaics.

The company says it expects to achieve a higher revenue and "slightly" positive EBIT margin for the full year 2011. It did not, however, disclose any actual figures.

It attributes its decision to a strong order book and "good business trends" in the first half of the year. It does admit though that the turbulent market conditions have put pressure on certain segments.

Significantly falling EBIT

Already in August, the photovoltaics company bucked the trend to post positive year on year sales growth. Now, in the first nine months of the year, it says it has achieved a consolidated revenue of €635.7 million, which is said to be ahead of the level reported in the 2010 financial year.

EBIT, meanwhile, was €25.2 million, corresponding to a four percent EBIT margin. While it is still positive, it has fallen significantly from the €53.2 million reported back in August (1H 2011). It also falls short of the €54.2 million reaped in the first nine months of 2010, and healthier EBIT margin of 11.8 percent.

In particular, centrotherm says its silicon and wafer business is impacting its EBIT. While the segment achieved revenues of €63.5 million, its EBIT was a negative €-61.1 million. Furthermore, the company says the fall in polysilicon prices have prompted adjustments to some of its large-scale Asian silicon projects. Again, no specific details were released.

In August, centrotherm reported that sales in silicon and wafer fell from €90.7 million in 1H 2010 to just €33.9 million. EBIT also plummeted from €7.8 million last year to €-15.8 million. At the time, centrotherm said it was confident that it can improve on this figure by the end of 2011.

To combat the decline in the segment, the company says it has established a dedicated task force.

Stronger

Interestingly, the solar cell and module segment continued on its strong trajectory, with figures moving from the €382 million achieved in 1H 2011 to €546.5 million in the first nine months of 2011. EBIT also grew, from €81.7 million in 1H 2011 to reach €102.3 million.

Furthermore, the company’s thin film segment increased, with revenues growing from €12.7 million in 1H 2011 to €23.9 million. The EBIT in this segment has also taken a tumble though, from €-12.6 million in 1H2011 to €-16 million.

In a statement released, centrotherm comments, "With its flexible production model, centrotherm photovoltaics has positioned itself well to meet the challenges presented by the solar market. For example, the massive buildup of overtime hours and vacation that was acquired in the production area during the boom phase is to be reduced this year."

The company could not be contacted for further comment.


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