S.A.G. also posts positive profits

While many of its peers are suffering, S.A.G. has pushed past the difficult market conditions to post "stable and profitable" growth. This has led the company to confirm its forecast for the full year, which includes achieving sales of between €260 and €280 million, and an EBIT of between €16 and €18 million.

In terms of 1H 2011 sales, the photovoltaic plant provider generated €137.94 million, up from €84.99 million in the same period last year. EBIT also grew, from €4.5 million in 1H 2010 to €6.9 million in 1H 2011.

The company attributes this success to its project planning and plant construction business. As proof, sales in this sector grew from €46.6 million in 1H 2010 to reach €110.8 million in 1H 2011. EBIT, meanwhile, was €4.6 million, as opposed to the €1.4 million seen in 2010. EBIT margin, on the other hand, grew from three percent in 1H 2010 to hit 4.1 percent.

S.A.G. says its 48 megawatt peak photovoltaic project in Italy, which is on course to be completed by the end of August, played a key role in the achievement of these figures.

Also positive was the company’s power production profits. Sales in this business area doubled from €1.4 million in 1H 2010 to €3.5 million in 1H 2011. EBIT also rose to €763,000 from €288,000, and EBIT margin improved from 20.4 percent in 1H 2010 to 21.5 percent.

On a slightly more subdued note, the company experienced a sales decline in its partner sales business area, down from €29.8 million in 1H 2010 to €16.9 million in 1H 2011. EBIT margin also fell from 5.9 percent to three percent.

This drop was primarily attributed to the "sharp" decline in the German solar market. "The 40 exclusive partners of S.A.G. Solarstrom AG mainly operate in Germany and were not able to escape this market trend," said the company in a statement.

S.A.G.’s plant operation and services business also saw a sales decline, although the EBIT remained "stable" at €1.1 million. Sales fell from €7.2 million in 1H 2010 to €6.7 million in 1H 2011. "The one-time revenue from the sale of hardware dropped, due to the weak European markets, but the portion of recurring sales from plant monitoring increased," continued the statement.

Commenting on the company’s performance, S.A.G.’s CEO, Karl Kuhlmann added, "As a system integrator, we profit from the reduction in prices of photovoltaic components on the market. Despite cuts in the feed-in tariffs in various European countries, we therefore continue to foresee a very attractive market, particularly in roof-top systems. We are also continuing to expand at an international level. Project business will probably follow the service business in the US in 2012.

"With our four strong pillars in operative business, we are very confident that we will be able to continue on our profitable growth curve as planned over the next few years."