German PV manufacturers continue to post losses

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The Bosch Group has presented its full-year 2012 financial results. It has posted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of €1.3 billion and a 2.5% return of sales.

Such results would make most companies happy but, as Bosch commented in statement, "The earnings developments for 2012 have not fulfilled our expectations." This becomes evident when these figures are compared with those posted in 2011, as earnings and returns were more than twice as high.

A significant reason behind these weak results is the "extremely difficult situation in the photovoltaic market," states the business report. Other reasons given were "overcapacity, fierce competition from Asian suppliers and 40% plunge in photovoltaic prices." Due to these difficult market conditions, Bosch’s photovoltaic business added a loss of €1 billion in 2012.

Currently, Bosch is looking for a buyer of its 90.7% stake in aleo solar. It has received offers from interested parties, however no information on the potential buyers has been revealed yet. The move is a part of Bosch’s exit from the crystalline photovoltaic business, which was announced on March 22. It will cease production of ingots, wafers and cells in 2014.

Meanwhile, German photovoltaic manufacturer aleo solar registered in its preliminary Q1 2013 results a loss of €16.3 million, thus doubling the figure, compared to 1Q of last year (€8.2 million). Moreover, turnover halved to €31.1 million in 1Q 2013 from €74.6 million posted in the same period of last year. The final figures for the Q1 are expected to be published on May 14.

"The reduced turnover and low margins reflect the current situation on the global solar market," said York zu Putlitz, CEO and CFO of aleo solar AG. "Within one year the sales prices decreased by around one quarter. At the same time, the demand has significantly decreased in all European key markets as well," he added.

On a positive note, last March, aleo solar’s market share increased by 2.46% compared to March of 2012. "The photovoltaic business is evolving into a smaller installations market again. Therefore, demands for our services and solutions as a solar system provider are especially high," York zu Putlitz said.

Translated and edited by Vera von Kreutzbruck.

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