Trina Solar posts first-quarter net profit of $26.5 million

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Chinese photovoltaic group Trina Solar Limited posted a more than 70% year-on-year increase in first-quarter revenue to $444.8 million and a net profit of $26.5 million — a dramatic increase from the company’s net loss of $63.7 million in the first three months of 2013.

Trina Chairman and CEO Jifan Gao said the company delivered solid results, pointing out that the company remained focused on maintaining profitable growth as opposed to pursuing volume growth alone. The strategy paid off for the company, which increased its gross margin to 20.6% in the quarter, a significant improvement from the previous quarter’s 15.1%.

"This improvement underpinned a net income increase of 73.5% quarter-over-quarter," Gao said. "Trina continues to see the positive impact of our focus on efficient operations, controlled business expansion and disciplined financial management."

Gao added that Trina had made further progress adjusting its sales mix to achieve a relatively stable average selling price (ASP) in spite of the general downward trend in prices. "This is critical to our sustainable growth and long-term profitability. In this quarter, our shipments to high ASP regions, such as Japan, grew significantly, accounting for 30% of our total external shipments."

The chief exec said the company penetrated further into new and emerging markets by leveraging its strong on-the-ground sales networks and "industry-leading technology" to "deliver high-quality solar solutions tailored for each region."

The company shipped 558 MW of solar modules during the first quarter, down from 770.1 MW in the fourth quarter of 2013 but up from the 392.6 MW in the first quarter of last year. Of the 558 MW, Trina shipped 23.8 MW to its own downstream power plants in the United Kingdom.

Gao added that the company was progressing well in its downstream business. In the first quarter, Trina completed the sale in China of a 50 MW power plant in Wuwei, Gansu province. It also began construction of several projects in China.

"We believe that we are well on track to achieve our target of developing 400 MW to 500 MW of downstream PV projects in 2014," Gao said.

"Looking ahead, we are optimistic about global demand for our products and are confident that we will be able to realize our 2014 module shipment target of 3.6 GW to 3.8 GW. We believe the synergies between module sales and our solar project development business will generate both capital gains and ongoing revenues from stable power generation."