SolarWorld enjoys 53% increase in first-half shipments, revenue below expectations

A bulging order book across the first six months of the year helped SolarWorld increase its year-on-year shipments by 53%, the company’s financial reports confirmed this week.

However, despite this encouraging upturn, the company is unlikely to hit its €680 million ($909 million) revenue target for the year, posting first half revenue of €228 million ($305 million) that – despite easing past last year’s H1 revenue of €201 million ($267 million) – fell some way short of SolarWorld’s best-case projections.

Shipments of SolarWorld’s wafers, cells, modules and solar kits reached 357 MW in the first half of the year as the German company enjoyed unprecedented global expansion, generating 81% of all sales outside of its domestic German market, with the U.K., U.S., France and Japan accounting for the bulk of the orders.

Module shipments alone increased to 333 MW, up from 211 MW in the first half of last year. Looking ahead to H2, SolarWorld revealed that the company has an order book in excess of 400 MW for modules and solar kits. These two figures combined take this sector of the company’s business beyond group projections.

Expectations unmet

A sharp fall in German demand for PV kits this year will likely mean SolarWorld will not fulfill its revenue targets for 2014, the company said. Price reductions and the shift in the company’s primary product mix will also affect consolidated revenue for the year, which despite rising by 13% will remain below the group’s expectations.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reached €101 million ($135 million) in the first half of the year, a performance buoyed by the one-off financial restructuring and consolidation of assets from Bosch Solar Energy, as well as a one-time, non-cash impairment of $36 million via an agreement with a raw material supplier.

Despite failing to reach its revenue target this year, the increase in shipments globally served as encouraging news for SolarWorld, with CEO Frank Asbeck confident that the company can return to the black next year.

"Products from SolarWorld are highly in demand worldwide," he said. "In July alone, we sold more than 90 MW, a new record for our company. At all production sites in Germany and the U.S. we soon will partly reactivate capacities that are not being utilized and further invest to grow organically groupwide in line with demand."