SolarWorld posts 26% revenue contraction for Q3

Preliminary figures released by SolarWorld AG – the Germany-based supplier of PV products – reveal that for Q3 2013 the group’s revenues were just €345.6 million – a fall of 26% on last year’s third quarter revenue figure of €468.9 million.

The current restructuring of its operations in Germany is thought to be the cause for the revenue contraction, particularly in light of positive figures elsewhere. SolarWorld’s shipments in its trade segment grew to 180 MW for Q3, which is a 57% increase on the same period in 2012, while its group-wide foreign sales were also up by 15% on last year – driven largely by U.S. demand and an expansion into other European nations.

Shipments of the SolarWorld Group’s wafer business totaled 427 MW for Q3, although its trade in solar modules and kits was down by 9% compared to last year, with 390 MW of equipment sold in the first nine months of 2013 – a situation exacerbated by German reluctance to buy.

While SolarWorld AG’s restructuring process is ongoing, the company reports that it cannot seek the provision of loan capital for large-scale projects. Coupled with weaker-than-expected domestic demand in Germany, the group expects to end 2013 with revenues below 2012 levels.

But it was not all doom and gloom for the solar giant. Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were up for the first time in nine months – standing at -€60.2 million compared to -€123.2 million for the same period in 2012. Earnings for EBIT (before interest and tax) were positive, too. Such an improvement is mainly attributable to a reduction in the cost of materials and lower depreciations and impairments when compared to 2012.

From a cash flow perspective, SolarWorld was also able to post positive preliminary findings, revealing that as of September 30, 2013, the group generated €6.5 million from its operating activities for the first nine months of the year.

The full results will be published in SolarWorld AG’s consolidated interim report on November 14, 2013.