Centrotherm bucks the profits trend, posting 54 percent YOY sales growth


As such, centrotherm has reiterated its full year forecasts, which include generating sales of between €690 million and €710 million, and an EBIT margin in the low to double digit range.

The Germany-based photovoltaic equipment and technology supplier generated sales of €428.6 million in the first six months of the year, up 54 percent from 1H 2010, which reaped €278.3 million. EBIT was also positive, having grown 57.2 percent from €33.9 million in 1H 2010 to €53.2 million this year.

Centrotherm says its solar cell and module business accounted for the lion’s share of this performance, with an EBIT margin of 21.4 percent, which contributed around 89 percent to sales. In particular, CFO Thomas Riegler says that single solar systems drove the growth, accounting for 86.1 percent of overall sales revenues.

In terms of the overall solar cell and module sales revenues then, €382 million was achieved in 1H 2011 in comparison to €180.3 million in the same period last year. EBIT was also up a massive 93.4 percent at €81.7 million. EBIT margin, however, slightly decreased from 23.4 percent in 1H 2010 to 21.4 percent in 1H 2011.

At €444.9 million, orders were also down in this segment at the end of the first six months, in comparison to 2010 (€513.8 million).

Centrotherm’s thin film segment also performed well, having generated €12.7 million worth of sales revenues in 1H 2011 in comparison to €7.2 million in 1H 2010. EBIT additionally showed improvement, from €-16.2 million last year to €-12.6 million. Orders were down in this segment too though, at €27 million (1H 2010: €52.9 million).

Sales revenues in the service and replacement business, meanwhile, increased by an impressive 79.7 percent to hit €17 million in 1H 2011. "This business is scheduled for further development in future," said the company in a statement.

Putting a damper on the positive news, centrotherm’s silicon and wafer business suffered significant losses, due primarily to the fact that several "major" projects were completed concurrently.

As such, sales revenues fell from a respectable €90.7 million in 1H 2010 to just €33.9 million in 1H 2011 "through the sale of technology and plants for the production of silicon". EBIT, on the other hand, plummeted from €7.8 million last year to €-15.8 million. The company is, however, confident that it can improve on this figure by the end of 2011.