Solarworld first-half figures disappoint

The importance of a proposed restructuring of ailing German manufacturer Solarworld was stressed in a statement by the company about its trading figures for the first half of the year.

Down below the, largely, unedifying news of falls in shipment volumes and revenue, was a reference to the restructuring plans mooted by the self-titled ‘King of Solar’ Frank Asbeck to the company’s shareholders.

Solarworld‘s announcement yesterday of the preliminary first-half figures read: "Noteholders and shareholders of SolarWorld AG are expected to have passed the decisive resolutions to implement restructuring measures by August 7, 2013. Apart from duties on dumping modules, this should have a positive effect on sales in the further year."

The ‘positive effect’ cannot come soon enough with shipments of modules and wafers falling to 233 MW from January to this month, down from 334 MW in the first half of 2012.

As a result revenue is predicted to have to fallen to around €201 million (US$263.8 million) compared with €340 million for the same period last year with customer hesitancy over the restructuring proposals cited, along with the dumping of Chinese modules in Solarworld’s European backyard.

There was at least some good news with a staunching of the flow of losses seen in the first half of 2012, EBITDA coming in to €-37 million from €-99 million and cahsflow from operating activities a more manageable €-9 million on last year’s €-27 million.

As a result of the negative results, the company’s liquid funds, which stood at €224 million at the end of 2012, were down to €162 million by June 30. Roll on the August 7 shareholders meeting then.