First Solar Q2 sales and profits decline

05. August 2011 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets, Top News | By:  Jonathan Gifford

First Solar has announced its quarter two (Q2) 2011 results, revealing sales of US$533 million, a decline of $34,5 million, or six percent, from quarter one (Q1) 2011. Sales were also down on six-month figures from 2010, by almost $56 million. Gross profits for the quarter also fell by $89,396 million from 2010. Profit decline from the first six-months of this year was $111,777.

First Solar manufacturing process.

First Solar's manufacturing operations increased output by 40 percent in Q2 due to the rampin gup of the KLM 6 factory and the startup of Frankfut Oder 2. Image: First Solar.

The CdTe thin-film manufacturer and installer blamed lower average selling prices and government tariff uncertainty for the falling figures. A decrease in revenue from First Solar’s systems business was also reported, partially offset by higher module volume of six percent on Q1.

In a statement announcing the figures, First Solar’s CEO Rob Gillette commented, "We expect stronger performance in the second half of 2011 as we build projects from our systems pipeline, develop promising new markets, execute our cost reduction roadmaps and continue to improve module efficiencies."

First Solar’s full-year guidance remains net sales of $3.6 billion, income of $900 to $960 million, representing an increase in net sales on 2010 of $1 billion. In its Q2 report, First Solar revealed spending in research and development of $33,102 and production start-up costs of $10,294.

In terms of operations, First Solar’s production was 483 megawatts, up 40 percent on 2010 and 19 percent from Q1. The production ramp of the KLM 6 factory and startup of the Frankfurt-Oder 2 facility was attributed to the increased production figures. Module manufacturing and cost per watt was $0.75. The First Solar Malaysian plants achieved a cost milestone of $0.69 per watt.


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