Phoenix Solar to enter PV module business; suffers sizeable H1 losses


According to Friday’s edition of the Financial Times Deutschland, Phoenix Solar wants to start manufacturing and selling photovoltaic modules under its brand name.

"An own brand can bring advantages," explained CEO Andreas Hänel to the German newspaper. He continued, "We have brought many manufacturers’ products to the market, but we haven’t reaped the full benefits."

Hard hit

In other news, the weak start to 2011 has hit Phoenix Solar hard. Looking forward, the company has said it is unable to provide guidance for the full year. Furthermore, achieving a positive result will be a "challenge".

While the German solar company managed to sequentially treble its revenues in Q2 2011, it suffered sizeable year-on-year losses of 61.8 percent, with revenues plummeting from a healthy €283.6 million in Q2 2010 to €108.4 million.

As with many others, the company’s international business fared far better, increasing 21.4 percent in Q2 to hit €45.3 million, up from €37.3 million in 2010. Overall, this sector was said to have contributed 41.8 percent to Phoenix’s total revenues in the second quarter. For H1 2011, it contributed 23.5 percent (H1/2010: 13.3 percent).

Falling from €160.6 million in Q2 2010 to €72.2 million in 2011, Phoenix’s component and systems segment was hit hard by the current market conditions. In terms of H1 2011, revenues dramatically decreased from €214.3 million in 2010 to €89.2 million.

Meanwhile, revenues in the company’s power plants business tumbled from €123 million in Q2 2010 to €36.2 million in Q2 2011. H1 revenues were equally affected, with just €51.6 million being generated in 2011 compared to the €149.7 million seen in 2010.

EBIT was another company casualty, decreasing from a positive €22.3 million in last year’s Q2 to a negative €-9.4 million. EBIT margin also dropped from 7.9 percent to -8.7 percent. In a statement, Phoenix said: "EBIT came under pressure from the tumbling prices of solar modules and additional impairment carried out on inventories in an amount of EUR 5.4 million."

Consolidated EBIT in H1, meanwhile, came to €-26.3 million, compared to €27 million in 2010. The EBIT margin stood at -18.7 percent (H1/2010: 7.4 percent).

On a more positive note, Phoenix Solar did increase its consolidated orders in H1 2011 by 10. 4 percent from 2010 to hit €311.1 million.

The company says that the share of international business in the order book almost trebled to reach a record volume of €238.2 million. This is in comparison to the €81.1 million seen in H1 2010. The proportion of orders placed outside Europe, meanwhile, came to €43.5 million – a marked increase on the €0.4 million seen last year.

Despite the overall negative figures, Phoenix Solar is remaining positive. In the statement, CEO Hänel commented, "Following the first quarter of 2011 when the markets in Europe came to an almost complete standstill, our business has now stabilised.

"We have begun the second half-year with a well-filled pipeline and have achieved greater independence from the German market by forging ahead with internationalising our business."

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