SolarWorld’s financials take a battering13. August 2012 | Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By: Becky Beetz
Germany-based SolarWorld AG has seen its 2012 financials suffer significantly, both sequentially and annually. CEO and chairman, Frank Asbeck, who will forego any salary or dividend until profitability returns, could be waiting a while, following predictions of a negative 2012 EBIT and lower revenues than in 2011.
In addition to forecasting lower 2012 revenues and a negative EBIT, SolarWorld – instigator of the China-U.S. and EU trade cases – also expects to see its photovoltaic wafer shipments decline "significantly" for the full year. Despite this, it does believe module shipments will increase from 2011.
Overall, the second quarter (Q2) of 2011 has seen a number of losses. Revenues, for instance, fell from €301.9 million in Q2 2011, and €170.5 million in Q1 2012, to hit €169.6 million in Q2 2012. As such, the first half (1H) of 2012 saw revenues of just €340 million, compared to €533.6 million in 1H 2011.
Regarding earnings, SolarWorld also saw massive losses. From €9.9 million in Q2 2011, and €1.8 million in Q1 2012, the photovoltaic manufacturer recorded a loss of €-161 million. This meant that 1H 2012 earnings fell from €22.2 million in 1H 2011 to €-159.3 million.
The company’s EBIT, or operating result also tumbled, having been affected by impairments of €80.8 million to prepayments and €33.5 million to inventories "due to the steady decline in price". Overall, Q2 2012 EBIT hit a very negative €-170.4 million, compared to €41.3 million in Q2 2011. In 1H 2012, it dropped to €-143.8 million, down from a respectable €70.5 million in 1H 2011. As aforementioned, SolarWorld does not expect to record a positive EBIT this year.
Meanwhile, EBITDA in Q2 2012 fell to €-148 million, in comparison to €68.7 million in Q2 2011, and €-99.5 million in 1H 2012, from €123.9 million in 1H 2011.
Looking at sales, while the company managed to increase the amount of product it sold in some areas, sales also saw significant losses. In Q2 2012, sales almost halved, from €301.9 million in Q2 2011, to reach €169.6 million. For 1H 2012, sales were €340.1 million, compared to €533.6 million in 1H 2011.
Solar module and kit sales in the trade segment were said to have grown from 269 MW in 1H 2011, to 316 MW in 1H 2012. In contrast, wafer and module sales in the company’s Production Germany segment fell from 381 MW to 334 MW during the same period. At the end of the year, it expects to have production capacities in the U.S. and Germany of: one GW of wafers; 800 MW of cells; and 850 MW of modules.
As SolarWorld points out, internationalization is a key focus for the company, as with many of its peers. It said it is planning to become active in the Japanese market through the establishment of a local partnership. Brazil, Argentina and India are also said to be on the company's radar.
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