S.A.G. Solarstrom remains upbeat

Despite both the already implemented and planned feed-in tariff reductions in key PV markets, the German company believes its international growth will enable it to weather the changes well. In a statement, it says: "With further international expansion, the S.A.G. Group is also able to absorb regulatory changes in individual markets."

Having achieved sales of €201 million (2009: €152.9 million) S.A.G. Solarstrom expects to hit between €260 million and €280 million this financial year. Meanwhile, it is looking to reach an EBIT of between €16 million and €18 million in 2011, up from €13.1 million in 2010 and €8.5 million in 2009.

The company goes on to say that 62 percent of the overall performance of €253 million was achieved abroad. However, it says that the main drivers of sales growth were Project Planning and Plant Construction, and Partner Sales.

Overall, the S.A.G. Group "considerably" improved its EBIT margin to 6.5 percent (2009: 5.6 percent). For the first time, it says, the two top-selling business areas achieved an EBIT margin above five percent.

CEO Karl Kuhlmann comments: "As a roof-top specialist, we are very well positioned, even under the new market conditions in Europe. And we will of course continue to push ahead with our expansion in other countries, such as the U.S. Development of the service business also offers us new opportunities and earnings potential."

Breakdown

In terms of Project Planning and Plant Construction, sales of €123.8 million (2009: €108.2 million) were achieved, while an EBIT of €6.7 million (2009: €4.9 million) and an EBIT margin of over five percent – for the first time – (2009: 4.5 percent) was reached.

In a statement, the company explains: "It should be taken into account that the predominant part of the difference between sales and overall performance concerns the major 48 MWp project in Italy, which was begun in 2010 and is scheduled to be completed in 2011. This large-scale project will thus have a major effect on the growth of this business area in 2011."

S.A.G. Solarstrom adds that due to the amendment of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which created a pull-forward effect in the German market, Partner Sales benefited "to a greater extent" than other business areas last year.

Consequently, sales increased to €58.9 million (2009: €33.8 million), while EBIT quadrupled to €3.3 million (2009: €674,000). Furthermore, the business area increased the EBIT margin from two percent in the previous year to 5.6 percent in 2010.

Plant Operation and Services’ sales increased by 76 percent to €15.3 million in 2010 (2009: €8.7 million). EBIT doubled to around €2.5 million (2009: €1.2 million), and the EBIT margin hit 16.1 percent (2009: 14 percent).

The company says that despite below average irradiation and weather conditions in 2010, sales in the business area Power Production rose by 36 percent to hit €3 million. Meanwhile, EBIT rose by 34 percent to €0.7 million.

The statement continued: "The profit remained slightly below expectations, due to damage to a system, which has in the meantime been rectified. Revenue from the 6.8 MWp from the project in Stribro, Czech Republic, which was taken over into the S.A.G.

"Group’s own portfolio in November 2010, is not included in this business area, but is incorporated into the financial result, with a further 4.1 MWp of S.A.G.’s own portfolio, which is also entered in the balance sheet according to the equity method."