SolarWorld AG revenues fall 25% in 2013


Preliminary financial results from SolarWorld AG have revealed that the company suffered a 25% fall in consolidation revenue for 2013.

Last year, the struggling solar company – which completed its latest round of restructuring just last month – generated revenues of €456 million, down from €606 million in 2012.

The contraction is a result of continued poor performance in the German market, where large decreases in pure module sales dragged down revenues. There was, however, some good news: sales figures in the Japanese, U.S. and South African markets were up, indicating a brighter future for SolarWorld's global ambitions.

SolarWorld AG's preliminary consolidated result before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA) did improve last year, coming in at -€147 million, as compared to 2012's EBITDA performance of -€203 million. The result before interest and tax (EBIT) was also encouraging, eating into 2012's -€620 million to emerge at just -€192 million. SolarWorld suggests that this improved performance was the result of the company's comprehensive operational restructuring measures and reduction in material costs.

As of December 31, 2013, SolarWorld AG held liquid funds of €163 million, down from €224.1 million at the end of 2012. Looking ahead to 2014, the company expects to increase its group-wide shipment revenues by 40% compared to last year, and is eyeing consolidated revenue growth of €680 million, thanks largely to recent investment from Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) – which last month secured a 29% stake in the company in a move that was challenged by the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE); and the acquisition of Bosch Solar Energy AG's former production lines, which is expected to be completed next week.

Early forecasts also suggest that 2014's EBITDA performance could result in +€10 million generated in revenues – an estimation that does not take into account the likely effects of SolarWorld's recent acquisitions and investment from QSTec.

The actual EBITDA figure could be even higher, the company suggests, adding that a return to a positive operating result is expected in the fiscal year 2015.

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