SMA doubles 2010 sales; focuses on international markets

Overall, the group says it reaped sales worth €1.9 billion in 2010 (2009: €0.9 billion), achieved consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of €516 million (2009: €228 million), and set a new earnings record corresponding to an EBIT margin of 26.9 percent (2009: 24.4 percent). ?

SMA goes on to say that it sold 7.4 gigawatts (GW) of inverters in 2010 in comparison to 3.4 GW in the previous year. This resulted in the company capturing a reported market share between 39 and 45 percent, which, it says, is in line with its previous year’s figure (2009: approximately 40 percent). ?

Going global

The Germany-based company goes on to say that in terms of the future, internationalization is "gaining increasing importance". It explains that last year, almost 45 percent of sales were generated outside of Germany (2009: 38.4 percent), and believes that strong growth abroad will continue to be experienced. It says this is a key reason why it expanded its production sites last year in Denver, the U.S. and Toronto, Canada. It also established sales and service companies in India and England. ??

As a result of these expansions, SMA doubled its annual production capacity from five GW in 2009 to a total of 11 GW in 2010. It adds that there are plans to set up further sales and service companies in Japan and Thailand this year. ??"The international photovoltaic markets will acquire ever increasing importance. SMA, as a technology and global market leader with 17 foreign subsidiaries situated on four continents, is exceptionally well-prepared for the further internationalization of business," states Günther Cramer, chief executive officer of SMA.

He continues: "We will continue to expand our technological edge and set new trends in the solar industry in 2011 with the aid of further innovations."

The company says it has increased its research and development budget this year to €100 million; further investments are planned for the current fiscal year, in particular investments in buildings and machinery, amounting to between €150 million and €200 million.

??Looking ahead, the Managing Board of SMA estimates that demand for solar power systems will "significantly increase" in the medium term. However, due to changes in support programs in important European solar markets, the company predicts a temporary stagnation in the market in 2011.

Consequently, the Managing Board confirms its forecast and stands by its sales figure of between €1.5 billion and €1.9 billion with a slightly lower EBIT margin of between 21 percent and 25 percent.