Aleo Solar's poor 2013 financial report signals final death knell

Stricken German PV manufacturer Aleo Solar today published its financial report for 2013, revealing a sharp but expected drop in revenue and negative earnings throughout the year as the company shuffles towards liquidation.

Having dealt exclusively in bad news and grim figures for most of 2013 – spurred by tough market conditions in the EU that prompted leading shareholder Bosch to exit the solar market – today’s confirmation of Aleo Solar’s poor financial performance comes as little surprise.

Revenue for the year fell by 55% to just €124.9 million ($172.6 million), with earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) limping home at -€92 million (compared to -€77 million in 2012). The EBIT margin fell to -73.7%, with earnings per share also down from -€6.48 in 2012 to -€7.46 last year.

In February of this year, Aleo Solar agreed to sell the material components of the Aleo Solar Group’s operating business, which included the company’s Prenzlau, Germany-based production site and the aleo brand to SCP Solar GmbH in Hamburg.

That sale set the scene for events earlier this month, which resulted in the wrapping-up of an extraordinary annual meeting on April 15 when the company announced that Aleo Solar AG is to be sold, dissolved and renamed, trading under the name AS Abwicklung und Solar-Service AG from April 30.

pv magazine has learnt that following the March 31 shutdown of Aleo Solar’s Prenzlau operation, staff were offered either a redundancy package or the opportunity to make use of Germany’s transfergesellschaft – a nine-month long training program designed to equip workers with new skills in order to secure employment elsewhere. SCP Solar GmbH plans to restart operations in Prenzlau and emply 200 staff at the plant.

However, pv magazine understands that operations at Aleo Solar’s Oldenburg facility will cease completely on June 30, with most of the 115 employees handed the required statutory notice period. Approximately 25 staff will stay on to wind up the company’s operations until the end of the year.

These decisions come just days after the company reported a 63% quarter-by-quarter contraction in Q1 2014 revenues, during which Aleo Solar generated just €11.6 million ($16 million).