Yingli announces stronger commitment to Europe and China; capacity ramp up

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Acknowledging the "tremendous pressure in 2011, due to supply-demand imbalance throughout the value chain" and solar subsidy changes, Liansheng Miao, chairman and CEO of the Chinese photovoltaic manufacturer states that Yingli "successfully navigated the intensified competition" and managed to strengthen its position in key markets including Germany, China and the U.S.

Going forward, he says more resources will be deployed in both Germany, and other European markets. Despite positive growth in the U.S. market, Miao says the company maintains "a cautiously optimistic view", due to the as of yet, unresolved U.S.-China trade case. Furthermore, Yingli will strengthen its presence in China. "In 2011, sales to China accounted for approximately twenty-two percent of our total revenues, compared to approximately six percent a year ago. Going forward, we will continue our firm commitment to China and strengthen our leading position in this fast growing market," he explains.

In terms of expansion, Miao says the company is looking to add another 750 megawatts (MW) worth of manufacturing capacity in Haikou, Tianjin, Hengshui and Baoding in 2011, "which we expect will support our full year shipment guidance of 2.4 to 2.5 GW for 2012".

The financials

Q4 2011 total net revenues amounted to RMB 2.56 billion (US$408 million) – a fall from Q3, which achieved RMB 4.25 billion. For FY 2011, they hit RMB 14.67 billion, up from RMB 12.27 billion in 2010. Meanwhile, photovoltaic module shipments in Q4 decreased by 29.8 percent from Q3. Despite this, for FY 2011, they increased 51.1 percent, to 1.6 gigawatts (GW).

Gross profit, on the other hand was RMB 77.3 million in Q4 2011, massively down from the RMB 458.5 million seen in Q3. At three percent, gross margin was also significantly down from Q3, which achieved 10.8 percent. Meanwhile, for the FY 2011, the company achieved profits of RMB 2.44 billion, which resulted in a gross margin of 16.7 percent.

Q4 2011 operating loss was RMB 3.78 billion, way down on Q3’s RMB 5.5 million. This included an aggregate of RMB 3.61 billion non-cash charges, including an impairment of long-lived assets of Fine Silicon Co. Ltd of RMB 2.27 billion, an impairment of goodwill of RMB 273.4 million, a provision of RMB 851.7 million on the company’s inventory purchase commitment under long-term polysilicon supply contracts, and the inventory provision mentioned above. For the FY, it hit RMB 2.69 billion, which resulted in an operating margin of -18.4 percent.

Finally, net loss in Q4 2011 was RMB 3.77 billion, down from RMB 180.5 million in Q3 2011. For the FY, it amounted to RMB 2.69 billion.

For 2012, Yingli forecasts that it will ship between 2.4 and 2.5 GW worth of photovoltaic modules – an increase of 49.6 to 55.9 percent compared to fiscal year 2011.