SolarWorld posts better-than-expected 2014 revenues

Germany’s SolarWorld shipped 849 MW of solar modules and kits in 2014 – a performance that greatly exceeded preliminary forecasts for the year despite a marked decline in the company’s domestic solar market.

Last year’s figures represent a growth of 55% compared to 2013, when the company shipped 548 MW of solar modules. Indeed, 2014 exceeded the original forecast of 40% growth by a full 15%, thanks largely to strong growth in the U.S. market where shipments for the year nearly doubled when compared to 2013.

The French, British and Japanese solar markets all proved fruitful for SolarWorld last year too, but 2014 ended with the U.S. market accounting for 41% of all module and solar kit shipments, which have become the company’s core business.

Consolidated revenue for SolarWorld’s fiscal year 2014 was €573 million ($647 million), a 26% increase on 2013’s revenue of €456 million ($515 million).

Operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to €109 million ($123 million) in 2014, which when adjusted for one-off effects (resulting from the initial accounting of assets acquired from Bosch Solar Energy AG and renegotiated supply contracts) came in at €2 million.

Over the course of 2014, SolarWorld was able to raise liquid funds amounting to €177 million ($200 million), and CEO Frank Asbeck believes that further strong growth is on the cards for 2015, with the company eyeing a global shipment target of 1 GW.

Last year was a year of two halves for SolarWorld, particularly in relation to its performance in the U.S. solar market where the company is inextricably linked to the anti-dumping trade case with China and Taiwan. In July, the U.S. government imposed preliminary AD tariffs on solar products from China and Taiwan – a decision that favored SolarWorld’s sales strategy and helped boost second-half supply and revenue figures.