JA Solar posts narrows loss, increases revenue by 7.2% in Q3

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China’s JA Solar on Tuesday posted third-quarter net revenue of CNY 1.8 billion ($287.3 million), a 7.2% year-on-year increase, and narrowed its net loss to $37.1 million from $59.1 million a year ago.

The company’s shipments in the period reached 500.2 MW, consisting of 305 MW of modules and module tolling, and 195.2 MW of cells and cell tolling, above the high end of the group’s previous guidance of 470 MW and an increase of 7.9% from the second quarter of 2013.

JA Solar Chairman and CEO Baofang Jin said the company had "posted a solid performance in the third quarter, with shipments exceeding the high end of our guidance, owing to an improvement in the macro environment and increased installation activity across key markets."

Jin added that due to a much healthier supply-demand balance and the company’s continued cost-reduction efforts, JA Solar’s gross margin returned to double digits (11.3%), while “prudent management of costs and receivables allowed us to post strong operating cash flow of over $100 million."

Jin noted that the company had expanded operations across key territories. "In the third quarter, we made tremendous progress in the U.S. market, where our module shipments more than tripled sequentially. We also saw healthy shipment growth in China, where installation activity increased rapidly as buyers rushed to place orders ahead of an expected reduction in solar feed-in-tariff rates. Alongside this, we maintained our strong position in Japan, where we expect to have a healthy growth trajectory going forward."

JA Solar’s chief executive added that prudent balance sheet management through the downturn in the solar industry helped secure the long-term health of the business. "Now that the market is showing significant signs of improvement, we are confident that our superior product offering and bankable brand will enable us to strengthen our market position.”

Looking to 2014, Jin said the group would continue to stringently manage production costs and focus on gaining market share in emerging markets.

"We are confident that this strategy will lead to an overall improvement in our bottom-line performance in the coming quarters."

The comany expects fourth quarter cell and module shipments to range between 500 MW and 550 MW. It revised its full year shipment outlook upwards from between 1.7 GW and 1.9 GW to between 1.9 GW and 1.95 GW.