JA Solar back in black as module shipments skyrocket

China’s JA Solar posted increases all around for the second quarter of the year, with modules shipments skyrocketing more than 75% and revenue up 53%.

The company reported on Wednesday that revenue between April to June had reached CNY 2.4 billion ($390.5 million), a 52.9% year-on-year increase. JA Solar attributed the hike to the ongoing shift in sales to modules, which made up 65.4% of overall shipments, as well as to business in its key territories, namely China and Japan.

Gross margins reached 15.2%, an increase of 710 basis points and an improvement JA Solar said was due to improved overall market conditions.

The group was also back to profitability with net earnings of $6.5 million after a $21.3 million net loss in the second quarter of 2013.

While total shipments jumped 47% to 681.8 MW, module and module tolling shipments soared 75.6%. The company recorded a major surge in module demand in North America in the first half of 2014 and the region now accounts for 9% of total module sales.

Shipments of cells and cell tolling saw a 12.5% increase year-on-year to 236 MW.

JA Solar Chairman and CEO Baofang Jin said the company’s second quarter results “were satisfactory, with strong revenue growth, continued bottom-line profitability and progress in our transition from cells to modules as our main revenue stream. This successful transition has enabled us to emerge as a tier 1 module supplier in the world.”

Jin added that JA Solar was actively expanding its downstream business and that it expected to sustain both growth and profitability in the second half of the year due to accelerating activity in China and continually favorable product and geographic mix.

Japan performed very well in the quarter, while module shipments into China and Europe remained stable, Jin said. “North America saw a solid surge sequentially and now represents 9% of our module sales,” he added.

Jin offered a confident forecast for the second half of the year, pointing to better demand in China as both utility scale and distributed generation projects start construction in the period.

"We believe secular demand trends in Japan will continue due to their unique energy needs, and we expect to grow our business in the North American market," Jin said, adding that the company had raised its full-year shipment target to between 2.9 GW and 3.1 GW.

JA Solar’s strong second-quarter performance is in line with that of other major publicly listed Chinese solar companies in recent days, reflecting an improved market and bustling business, particularly in Asia and North America.