Trina Solar's Q2 shipments soar 69%

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Trina Solar’s second quarter financial results, published today, reveal that the Chinese PV giant shipped 943.3 MW of solar modules in Q2 – a soaring 69.1% increase on the first quarter of the year, when 558 MW of modules were shipped.

This solid Q2 performance was in line with company projections and helped drive net revenue to $519.4 million, a quarter-on-quarter increase of 16.8%. However, with the cost of revenues increasing by 24.3% in Q2, gross profit fell slightly (12.3%) to $80.2 million, delivering a gross margin of 15.4%. In the first quarter of the year, the margin was above 20%.

Trina Solar chairman and CEO Jifan Gao said that the company’s strong brand and well-developed global sales network allowed Trina to capitalize on commercial opportunities in multiple markets, with the U.S. singled out for particular praise.

"Notably, we continue to see robust demand for our product from our many valued long-term customers in the U.S., thanks to Trina Solar’s established market position and superior product offerings," said Gao. The CEO also revealed that domestic demand in China bounced back after a "relatively weak first quarter", before stressing that the company was also pleased with its fledgling downstream business.

"We are excited by the potential we see in our downstream business and will continue to invest in building a mature pipeline of projects," said Gao. That pipeline includes the construction of a 90 MW power plant in China’s Xinjiang Province, as well as a 49.9 MW solar project in the U.K.

"We believe that the U.K. is a good target country for investment due to its well-established market and mature investment environment," added Gao.

More DG and hope for U.S. consolidation

Trina Solar’s report revealed that the company will continue to place a greater share of importance on its distributed generation (DG) projects in China, pointing to the fact that a rather hefty pipeline of DG PV projects is set to come online in the country throughout the remainder of the year, including a 13 MW carport installation in Hunan Province and a 7.4 MW rooftop PV project undertaken in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province.

In light of the recent U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duty preliminary rulings, Gao reiterated that the company is more committed than ever to the U.S. market.

"We believe that Trina Solar will continue to play an important role and maintain our leading market position in the U.S. thanks to our solid and long-standing reputation for high quality products and services." Trina’s plans are boosted by the knowledge that it was hit with one of the lowest anti-dumping tariffs of all the leading Chinese solar PV manufacturers.

Operating costs and looking ahead

Across the second quarter of 2014, operating costs increased by 21.2% quarter-by-quarter, rising to $64.5 million. However, that figure represents a year-on-year decrease of 14%, which helped Trina turn a 2013 Q2 operating loss of $23.9 million into a $15.7 million operating income gain this year.

At the end of Q2, the company had $562.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, and expects to enjoy a strong end to the year. As of June 30, Trina boasted in-house ingot and wafer production capacity of 2 GW and 1.6 GW respectively.

PV cell manufacturing capacity stood at 2.7 GW, with module manufacturing capacity 3.6 GW. By the end of the year, Trina expects module capacity to rise to 3.8 GW, cell capacity to reach 3 GW, and wafers and ingot manufacturing capacity to reach 1.7 GW and 2.2 GW respectively.

Guidance for Q3 forecasts solar module shipments in the range of 1,060 MW to 1,120 MW, placing Trina on course to hit its 2014 guidance of 3.6 GW to 3.8 GW modules shipped.