SolarWorld halves net loss in first half of 2013

Beleagured German photovoltaic manufacturer SolarWorld AG managed to reduce its loss in the first six months of the year to €82 million, a 49% decline from the €161 net loss it made in the same period a year ago.

The Bonn-based company on Wednesday posted a more than 40% drop in total revenue to €201 million in the first half of 2013 as shipments, including the solar wafer business, dropped 30% to 233 MW.

"Declining shipments and persistent price pressure due to dumped modules have reduced consolidated revenue compared with the first half of last year," the company said in a statement.

SolarWorld led a crusade against the dumping practices of Chinese rivals that resulted in import tariffs, and in turn the recent provisional settlement of the dispute between China and the European Commission.

The company’s operating loss (before interest and taxes) narrowed to €69 million from €144 million a year ago.

Despite the continued losses, SolarWorld CEO Frank Asbeck sounded upbeat after last week’s approval by shareholders and bondholders of a restructuring plan that could provide the group a much needed lifeline: "Last week, noteholders and shareholders of SolarWorld AG cleared the road for restructuring with an overwhelming majority. This outcome will have a positive effect on our business for the rest of the year. Our new products will boost our sales. Quality and innovation strength are our best arguments to survive in the continuing tough competitive climate."