centrotherm explained that on average up to 60 systems per month left its production halls, which marks a three-fold increase in volume levels compared with the prior-year period. It also represents a new record in the company's history. Consequently, new order intake hit 707.7 million. However, in comparison to the first nine months of 2009, the companys order book only amounted to 747.7 million, as opposed to 922.4 million.
According to Robert M. Hartung, CEO of centrotherm photovoltaics, two factors, in particular, resulted in this strong order flow: "Asian customers are expanding along the photovoltaic value chain, and in doing so are focusing their investments on high-efficiency technology, in order to realize economies of scale and declining manufacturing costs.
"We are registering strong demand for single equipment items, and, at the same time, a resumption of demand in the turnkey business. This is reflected in high sales generated abroad."
centrotherm added that export ratio was at a record-breaking 95.3 percent during the first nine months of the year (prior-year period: 91.6 percent). In the company's foreign business, the Asian market was said to dominate with revenue of 385 million, representing an 84 percent share of total group revenue.
The company continued by saying that it invested a total of 30.3 million in research and development in the first nine months of the year, in comparison to 19.4 million in the same time period last year. The number of employees was also reportedly up by 24.6 percent to 1,409 staff members (prior-year period: 1,131 staff members).
Furthermore, it says revenue has risen by 22.3 percent to reach 458.4 million, in comparison to the 374.7 million seen in the first nine months of 2009. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), on the other hand, improved by 52.7 percent to 54.2 million (prior-year period: 35.5 million).
As a result, the companys EBIT margin increased to 11.8 percent, as opposed to 9.5 percent in the previous year. Consolidated net income also reported a marked increase of 49.5 percent to reach 37.4 million, up from 25.0 million.
In terms of the companys specific business segments, silicon and wafer revenue was up by 11 percent to 151.3 million (prior-year period: 136.3 million), and operating profit (EBIT) improved to 18.9 million (prior-year period: 12.8 million).
Solar cell and modules continued to make a significant contribution having achieved the highest order intake in the company's history in the third quarter of 2010, at 311.1 million. A new record result was also reportedly achieved in terms of revenue, which grew by more than one half (55.1 percent) to reach 295.2 million in the first nine months of this year (prior-year period: 90.4 million).
Bucking the positive trend, thin film module revenue again reaped negative results. Although the sum was better than the prior year's period, dropping to 11.9 million as opposed to 48 million, the segment result (EBIT) amounted to -24.7 million (prior-year period: -1.1 million), which was mainly burdened by costs for the further technical development of equipment.
Dr. Thomas Riegler, CFO of centrotherm photovoltaics AG commented: "Over the past nine months, we have benefited from an outright order boom, particularly in the solar cell and module segment, and we have further expanded our market share."? ?
In terms of the revenue forecast for the full year, centrotherm says it confirms its previous estimates. "Due to the gratifying new order trend, we are confirming our forecasts of 580 million to 600 million of revenue for the full year, which we raised when we announced our half-year figures, stated CEO Robert M. Hartung. "We are also anticipating an EBIT margin of around 11 percent for 2010."
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