SMA sees strong Q1 2012 demand10. May 2012 | Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By: Becky Stuart
SMA Solar Technology AG has recorded a positive start to 2012, with increased photovoltaic inverter sales achieved. The company forecasts falling demand in Europe, however, for the rest of the year.
On the back of its positive first quarter (Q1) 2012 financial results, SMA has reiterated its full year guidance, which anticipates sales of between €1.2 billion and €1.5 billion, and an EBIT margin of five to 10 percent.
In Q1, the photovoltaic inverter manufacturer sold 1.9 gigawatts (GW) of inverters, compared to one GW in Q1 2011. As such, its sales increased from €255.9 million to €405 million, thus exceeding its previous guidance of €350 million to €390 million. Its most important markets were said to be the U.S., Belgium, the U.K. and France. Its net profit in Q1 2012, meanwhile, was €29.6 million, compared to €10.3 million in Q1 2011.
On a roll, the company’s EBIT was positive, having grown from €13.7 million in Q1 2011, to an impressive €42.8 million. Its EBIT margin additionally grew to 10.6 percent, up from 5.4 percent in Q1 2011.
"The first quarter of 2012 was significantly marked by catch-up and pull-forward effects in important European photovoltaic markets," said SMA in a statement released. Pierre-Pascal Urbon, speaker of the managing coard and CFO added, "The strong demand for Sunny Boy inverters for PV rooftop systems in Europe during the first quarter reflects catch-up effects resulting from commercial commissioning in the fourth quarter of 2011 as well as pull-forward effects resulting from the discussion of additional feed-in-tariff reductions."
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