When is a loss not a loss? When the accounts in question are posted by a solar manufacturer.
Despite a red bottom line amounting to a RMB16.8 million (US$2.7 million) loss in the first three months of the year, Chinese solar manufacturer JinkoSolar has trumpeted the figures as a measure of success.
When that loss is put into context against the RMB306 million which went out of the company from October to December or the RMB733.7 million haemorrhaged by JinkoSolar in the first quarter of 2012, the figures mark something of a turnaround.
First-quarter shipments rose 12.2% from the previous three months and 36% year-on-year to 338.6 MW, comprising 282.4 MW of modules, 25.4 MW of silicon wafers and 30.8 MW of cells.
Those figures saw revenue hold steady just 0.3% down on the previous three months and up an encouraging 9.7% year-on-year to RMB1.16 billion, not including the RMB131.3 million held back by customers for up to two years since JinkoSolar introduced delayed payment contracts in the second half of 2012.
JinkoSolar CEO Kangping Chen said the successful RMB800 million corporate bond issue and RMB360 million loan facility secured with the China Development Bank in the first quarter represented votes of confidence in the company.
The JinkoSolar chief, announcing the first-quarter figures, said the launch of the Eagle II module at SNEC Shanghai last month would be followed by the development of ‘smart modules’ and that the company was broadening its geographic spread by securing new contracts in India as well as 115 MW and 85 MW projects in South Africa.
CEO Chen added he expects business from JinkoSolar’s new Japanese office opened in March to account for up to 15% of shipments ‘in coming quarters’ and that the company was optimistic of an upsurge in business in its traditionally strong Chinese market after the seasonally slow first quarter in the People’s Republic.
Mr Chen also found time to criticise this week’s decision by the EU to impose preliminary anti dumping duties on Chinese modules imported to Europe, branding the move ‘unfair and unfounded.’