Centrotherm revenues grow 70% in second half of 2013

Germany’s Centrotherm Photovoltaics AG – a leading producer of solar machinery and thermal equipment – has published its financial report for 2013, revealing a robust set of figures that mark an impressive turnaround for the company.

Staring insolvency in the face at the beginning of last year, the company has managed to yank itself clear of liquidation to post revenues of €119.4 million ($164 million) in the second half of last year – a 70% increase on the preceding eight month period (October 2012 to May 2013).

At the same time, Centrotherm was able to significantly reduce its consolidated net loss to just €7.6 million for the year, having reached a record loss of €77.4 million in 2012. The higher revenues were a result of fixed cost reduction achieved since the company restructured much of its business and shifted its focus on to new markets and technologies.

Progress at the company’s new polysilicon factory in Qatar has been brisk, while the completion and final invoicing of large-scale projects in the PV and semiconductor segments helped push Centrotherm’s export ratio to more than 90% – generating massive income in Asia.

Such reforms helped Centrotherm improve its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), which grew from negative €25.3 million in 2012 to negative €4.6 million last year. Profit still eludes the company, however, despite the encouraging upturn in revenues.

Bursting out of the blocks

As reported last month, Centrotherm has begun 2014 with a bang, adding more than $40 million in new business orders in the first two months of the year and enjoying full utilization at its Taiwanese manufacturing plants in order to satisfy demand from Japan and the U.S. By way of comparison, new order intake in the last six months of 2013 reached $54 million, with more than 50% of that coming in December. Centrotherm has evidently carried that solid end-of-year performance on through into 2014.

Looking ahead, the order book position as of December 31, 2013 was €229.1 million ($315 million), with the company calculating a revenue target of between €150 million and €200 million for 2014, which would represent a breakeven result for Centrotherm. If current growth rates are maintained, the company is also expecting its semiconductor and microelectronics sector to add considerable revenues to its overall growth.