SMA records 2012 profit; not ruling out 2013 loss


In the past year, SMA Solar Technology AG achieved sales of €1.5 billion, thus meeting the upper end of its expectations. At €102 million, the operating profit, however, more than halved. In 2011, EBIT amounted to €240.3 million, and sales, €1.7 billion.

The past fiscal year also saw an equity ratio of 61.8% recorded, with net cash of €446.3 million. At SMA’s annual general meeting, scheduled for May 23, the board will propose a dividend of €0.60 per share.

In terms of photovoltaic inverters sold, volume fell from 7.6 GW in 2011 to 7.2 GW in 2012. While the first nine months of 2012 were said to be positive for SMA, "due to massive changes to subsidies in Europe and purchases being brought forward as a result," demand in the remaining quarter was affected by subsidy cuts and growing uncertainty, particularly in Germany.

Overall, the European market has been declining in importance for the inverter manufacturer; its share of foreign sales, meanwhile, increased slightly to 56.3%. Momentum has been seen particularly in North America, said SMA, which is now represented in 21 countries.

Despite the positive numbers, SMA expects sales to further fall in 2013, to between €0.9 billion and €1.3 billion. It added that it "cannot exclude the possibility of a loss."

"2013 will be a tough year for the solar sector. The photovoltaic market is currently undergoing major changes," stated CEO, Pierre-Pascal Urbon. He added, "However, we focused our corporate strategy on the future requirements of the energy sector at an early stage."

SMA announced a restructuring program last autumn. Under it, the company said it would gradually part with 450 full time employees and 600 part time workers.