SolarWorld increases first half revenue by modest 13%

Germany’s SolarWorld AG expects to achieve group revenues of €228 million ($306 million) for the first half of 2014, according to preliminary business results published today.

If accurate, that figure would represent a 13% increase on the €201 million generated in the first half of last year – a performance that is slightly below the company’s expectations.

While SolarWorld AG was able to raise its group-wide shipments business as planned – an increase of 53% on last year with the shipment of 357 MW of solar power modules – the weakness of the German solar market brought sales of complete systems below projections.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to €101 million in the first half of the year – a performance boosted by the one-off non-cash impairment of €36 million generated by an agreement with raw-material suppliers, as well as the acquisition of assets as part of the deal with Bosch Solar Energy. Adjusted for these one-offs, EBITDA just about broke into the black, posting home at €1 million, compared to negative €37 million in the first half of last year.

Non-adjusted EBIT reached €81 million, but amounted to negative €19 million when adjusted for the one-offs. In total, SolarWorld expects to end 2014 with a three-digit million Euro amount EBITDA, and is confident that it will achieve sustained positive operating results in 2015 having made credit repayments and interest payments of €34 million as planned in the first half of 2014.

SolarWorld also added that it expects to fulfill its growth forecast for shipments, owing to the company’s high order backlog and dynamic order intake.

The company had earlier commented on the recent confirmation of preliminary anti-dumping duties to be imposed on Chinese and Taiwan polycrystalline silicon solar products into the U.S., following Friday’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) to slap preliminary tariffs ranging from 26-165% on Chinese and Taiwanese companies. SolarWorld had brought the case to bear in December, following its prominent role in the original trade case instigated in late 2012.