Trina records "strongest" Q1 performance

Trina Solar Limited has recorded a stronger than expected first quarter, with module shipments reaching 1.03 GW, compared to just under 2 GW in Q4 2014, and 558 MW in Q1 2014. Of this 891.7 MW were external shipments, while 134.5 MW went to the company’s downstream projects (compared to 28.3 MW in Q4 2014 and 23.8 MW in Q1 2014). In terms of project activity, Trina connected 55 MWs to the grid in the U.K. and China.

Despite the Y/Y increase in shipments, net income for the world’s largest PV module manufacturer fell both sequentially and annually, from $14 million in Q4 and $26.5 million in Q1 2014, to $15.7 million. Gross profit, on the other hand rose from $91.5 million in Q1 2014, to reach $100.3 million, but was slightly down on the $111 million achieved in Q4 2014.

Trina attributed an increase in gross margin, from 15.7% Q4 2014 to 18%, to cost per watt reductions, and higher shipments to the U.S., Japan and Europe, where average sales prices (ASPs) are higher. The decline from Q1 2014, from a gross margin of 20.6% was due to ASPs declining faster than the company’s cost reductions.

High on the back of a positive quarter, Trina’s Chairman and CEO, Jifan Gao, said the company’s capacity expansion plans were on track. According to the financial statement released, it intends to ramp up PV cell capacity both at home and abroad, to around 3.5 GW, from 3.2 GW; and module capacity from 4 GW to around 4.8 GW.

Looking ahead to Q2 2015, Trina forecasts PV module shipments of between 1.1 GW to 1.14 GW of modules, of which 150 to 170 MW will be used for the company’s own projects. It also aims to grid connect between 65 to 70 MW of projects.

For the full year, it predicts module shipments of 4.4 to 4.6 GW, of which 700 to 800 MW will be used for its own projects. Meanwhile, it aims to grid connect 700 to 750 MW worth of projects globally.