Sunways and LDK unveil development goals

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Following its annual general meeting, held in Germany, yesterday, August 30, Sunways said that on the back of "individual but mostly also … industry-related structural problems", its financials have been heavily affected both in 2011 and at the start of 2012. As such, it does not see a return to profitability until 2014.

In a statement released, the company explained, "This improvement of the financial situation is to be achieved mainly through sales and cost synergies resulting from the intensified cooperation with the Chinese LDK Solar Group."

Recently, LDK Solar Germany Holding GmbH became the majority shareholder in the photovoltaics manufacturer following a public takeover offer. "Due to the partnership with the LDK Solar Group, the prospects of the technology specialist Sunways are much better than they would be under a stand-alone strategy," said CEO, Michael Wilhelm.

Through the partnership, Wilhelm added that Sunways intends to grow to become 1 of the 3 biggest photovoltaic inverter manufacturers globally and will become a Competence Center for inverters for LDK.

To achieve their growth goal, the two companies are planning a joint market entry in Canada, the U.S. and China. Wilhelm went on to emphasize, "The Chinese market can only be conquered together with an experienced local partner – whom we have found in LDK Solar."

Referring to its photovoltaic cell business, Sunways said it will play a "major" role as a Technology Excellence Center within LDK. Specifically, its experience in the development of high efficiency silicon cells and contact to leading academic and research institutions in Germany, "in particular in the Freiburg/Konstanz region", will form the basis for this.

With a nod to the growing importance of solar storage technologies, Wilhelm commented, "In the future, volume growth in photovoltaics will increasingly be generated abroad, while holistic energy generation, storage and management systems will become more important in Germany."

On the back of weak Q1 2012 financial figures, which included a net loss of €7.3 million and annual sales losses of over 50% – Q1 2012 generated €10.4 million, compared to €22.2 million in Q1 2011 – the company is cautious in its FY 2012 financial prognosis. While it has declined to issue any concrete guidance, Wilhelm stated, "In the fiscal year 2012, we want to stabilize the development of our sales volumes and revenues and reduce our losses as compared to 2011."

In addition to unveiling its strategic development goals, Sunways also approved the creation of new authorized capital and possible exclusion of the pre-emptive rights of shareholders; and appointed LDK’s CSO, Bing Zhu to the 3 member supervisory board.