First quarter financial results published this week by JinkoSolar have revealed that the Chinese solar systems manufacturer enjoyed a year-on-year total revenue increase of 73%, generating RMB2.0 billion (US$323.9 million) in the first three months of the year.
While an increase on last year, that figure was 8% down on the final quarter of 2013, with a gross margin of 24% also slightly below the 24.7% gross margin recorded at the end of last year.
Total solar product shipments of 581.2 MW also represented a slight, 0.9% decrease on 2013s fourth quarter (when 586.3 MW were shipped), but a healthy 71.6% increase on shipment volumes for the first quarter of last year, when only 338.6 MW were shipped. For this years Q1, 455.1 MW shipped were solar modules, 92.1 MW were silicon wafers, and 34 MW were solar cells.
JinkoSolar's operational solar projects collectively generated electricity revenues of $7.8 million in Q1 2014, up 62.3% on the fourth and final quarter of 2013 an impressive upturn and indicative of the beginning-of-the-year rush to bring projects online, allied to improving average selling prices (ASPs) that helped the company post a significant revenue and profit increase.
At the end of March 31, 2014, JinkoSolar had completed 213 MW of PV projects for the year so far, and ends the first quarter with available liquidity of $271 million, fuelled largely by increased shipments to the U.S. and Japanese markets.
"I am pleased to report a strong start to the year as we record our fourth consecutive quarter of profitability, well within our previously issued guidance," said JinkoSolar CEO, Kangping Chen. "We continued to expand our manufacturing and downstream businesses by increasing our geographic reach, further cutting costs and keeping gross margins stable."
The CEO also outlined JinkoSolar's intentions to widen its product and service offering, revealing particular pride in the companys power generation capabilities, which increased 62.3% in Q1 and generated a record 50 million kWh of energy. JinkoSolar is also aiming to connect 140 MW of further PV projects to the grid shortly, and will then commence construction of another 200-250 MW, according to Chen.
The U.S. and Japanese markets accounted for 30% of the company's total shipments in the first quarter, and Chen revealed further plans to continue to expand JinkoSolars presence in these regions thanks to the higher ASPs in evidence there. "We also continue to see shipments to new emerging markets such as South Africa, Chile and India increase as we leverage our position there as one of the largest module suppliers," Chen said. "We expect module shipments to increase by approximately 30% next quarter and are confident we will meet our full year guidance."
In his closing remarks, the CEO announced the launch of JinkoSolar's new Eagle + modules that the company claim can reliably reach 275 W of peak power output, which is a new record for mass-produced and commercially available modules in the market, concluded Chen.
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