Of the 255.4 million of new orders, centrotherm says the lions share, 227.1 million, is comprised of the order placed by Sonelgaz to construct a fully integrated solar module factory in Algeria. Overall, it says its order book position at the end of March amounted to 508.2 million, compared to 423 million in Q4 2011.
In terms of revenues, the group generated just 82.5 million, compared to 189.3 million in Q1 2011. Of this, its silicon and wafer segment recorded revenues of 37.2 million, up from 29.3 million in Q1 2011. Its solar cell and module segment, meanwhile, generated revenues totaling 37.2 million, and its thin film segment grew from 5.1 million in Q1 2011, to 8.1 million in Q1 2012.
On the down side, centrotherm recorded an operating loss at the EBIT level of 42.9 million, compared to a profit of 17.7 million in Q1 2011. Of this, its solar cell and module segment recorded a loss of 32.2 million, and its thin film segment, a loss of 10.5 million.
CFO, Thomas Riegler, believes that no significant improvement in the solar market situation will be seen in the first half of 2012. "The sector is experiencing its most severe crisis to date, and consolidation is fully underway," he stated. "For this reason, we are pushing full steam ahead with the implementation of our ct focus restructuring program, which comprises extensive measures to secure earnings and liquidity."
He added, "We nevertheless also regard continued cost pressure in the photovoltaic industry as an opportunity because our customers are focusing on highly efficient technologies and production systems that deliver competitive advantages. We also identify medium- to long-term potentials from photovoltaics due to global energy demand growth and the energy revolution that has already started."