Centrosolar sees Q1 revenue drop 46% as domestic market worsens

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The Germany-based group saw sales plunge 46% to €24.5 million, while losses (before interest and tax) grew from €4.1 million in the same period last year, to €11 million.

The company said it sold 20.4 MWp of photovoltaic modules and systems in the first three months of 2013, a year on year decrease of 25 %, adding that the drop is almost exclusively attributable to market developments in Germany. Indeed, Centrosolar’s share of revenue achieved in Germany fell 44% to 21.9 %.

While module prices stabilized in the first three months, the price level for standard modules fell by 25% on average compared to the same period in 2012, the company said.

Last year’s first quarter result was buoyed by a one-off boost in sales due to the high anticipation of a change in feed-in tariffs in April 2012, the company said. In addition, this year’s long wintry conditions that lasted well into March further damped demand for solar systems.

According to statistics from Germany’s Federal Network Agency regulatory office, new installations of small and medium-size photovoltaic systems up to 500 kWp in the first quarter showed a slump of around two-thirds compared with the previous year.

Further denting Centrosolar’s bottom line was a restructuring plan approved in February that has resulted in considerable non-recurring expenses in connection with legal and consultancy services as well as personnel cutbacks, although the company has set aside €4.1 million to meet the anticipated overall cost of restructuring. The group included an additional €500,000 in restructuring expenses in its first quarter operating costs.

The company said its economic performance in the first quarter was broadly in line with expectations, adding that the implementation of restructuring measures remained on track.

As previously reported, Centrosolar sold its subsidiary Centrosolar Glas GmbH to Belgian solar glass manufacturer Ducatt NV for a symbolic price as part of its restructuring plan.

Centrosolar said it would announce the publication date of its final first quarter results as soon as auditing of its 2012 annual report had been completed.