Conergy withdraws 2011 forecasts

Following a spate of incidents over the past week, which include Conergy CFO Sebastian Biedenkopf being struck by lightening and eight former managers being investigated for allegedly incorrectly reported sales with subsidiaries, the Hamburg photovoltaic company has now had to retract its sales forecasts.

Last year, Conergy confidently forecast that its sales would increase to over €1 billion and its EBITDA would be in the mid-double-digit millions. However, as a spokesperson tells pv magazine, because the first quarter was "disappointing" and the second "sluggish", there is huge market uncertainty. As such, it is not possible to make new projections for fiscal year 2011.

Signs

In reporting its first quarter results, which showed mixed outcomes, including a sales increase of 8.6 percent on the first quarter of 2010, but a gross profit decline of 10.7 percent, a EBITDA decrease of around €19 million and a EBIT reduction of roughly €18 million, the company said that it was "cautiously optimistic" about the rest of the year.

In a statement, it explained: "(…) given the developments in the first quarter of 2011 however, this forecast is fraught with uncertainty and will depend on the further development of the market in the second quarter of 2011."

As it reports today, "Based on the development of business to date, the company does no longer maintain its forecast."

It adds that the first part of the second quarter of 2011 "saw no significant improvement in the international solar markets that would have been able to compensate for the overall disappointing first quarter."

On a more positive note, the company did say there are signs that the market is reviving, but not to the point where it is predictable enough to forecast financial results for the rest of the year.

Conergy concludes by saying that it remains on target with regard to the implementation of its refinancing, "which the Management Board expects to successfully conclude by the end of July".

It will release its full second quarter 2011 results on August 11.