Centrotherm posts strong first-half revenue, forecasts difficult second half


German solar technology and production provider centrotherm has this week posted a positive round of second half financial figures for 2014, achieving its revenue goal in the process but warning of tougher market conditions for the remaining six months of the year.

Along with its subsidiaries, centrotherm posted first half revenues of €78.1 million ($104 million), which represented a half-on-half increase of €28.1 million ($37.6 million) compared to the previous June 1 – November 30 period, when company revenues reached €49.9 million ($67 million).

Around half of the posted revenue for the past six months were the result of the progress made with centrotherm’s polysilicon factory in Qatar, which set the company in good stead to take advantage of the positive sales environment in Asia, where order intake for the first half of 2014 amounted to €61.5 million ($82.1 million) – a near-trebling of revenues on the previous six months in the region.

Total operating performance for centrotherm group climbed from €56.1 million ($75 million) in the previous half-year figures to €82.2 million ($110 million) over the last six months, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to €1.8 million ($2.4 million) – a margin of 2.2% compared to negative 19.1% in the previous half year.

Order increase, future caution

The market recovery in the capital goods sector created a bulging order book for centrotherm, cementing the company’s position as a leading technology and plant supplier with rising sales in Asia. First half order intake reached €61.5 million ($82.2 million) – a noteworthy upturn in fortunes compared to the previous half-year, which saw orders reach a comparatively modest €18 million ($24 million). More than 90% of centrotherm's order book was filled by the PV and semiconductor segments.

Despite hitting its revenue targets for H1, centrotherm's management board anticipate a more difficult second half to the year, owing to "more stringent U.S. anti-dumping duties imposed on Chinese and Taiwanese solar products", according to the company.

"Against the backdrop of the information currently available, revenue within a range of between €150 million and €200 million is nonetheless possible provided that the Qatar project continues to progress well and the order situation in the PV and semiconductor segment does not significantly deteriorate," read centrotherm's official financial report. The company is hopeful of breaking even over the duration of 2014, it was revealed.

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