Chinese PV manufacturer JinkoSolar has increased its first quarter (Q1) revenue in 2015 by 36.5% in the space of a year, posting total revenue of $443.5 million at the end of March 2015. Although this figure was 7.5% below Q4 2014 figures, the annual rise represents a healthy reflection of the companys business objectives last year.
Most notably, JinkoSolars move into the downstream sector appears to be gathering steam, with the company generating RMB102.1 million ($16.5 million) in revenue from downstream development projects a healthy 26.9% increase quarter-over-quarter, and a huge 111.1% rise from Q1 2014.
In total, downstream power projects generated 115.27 GWh in Q1 2015, a 25.3% increase on Q4 2014 and a 149.1% increase year-over-year.
Total solar product shipments to third parties reached 789.2 MW, of which 703.5 MW were solar modules, 53.3 MW were silicon wafers and 32.4 MW were solar cells. This was an increase of 35.8% on the 581.2 MW of solar products shipped in the first three months of 2014, but represented a slight decrease on Q4 2014s 838.2 MW of shipments.
Additionally, JinkoSolar shipped 50.3 MW of modules earmarked for use in the companys own downstream projects. At the end of the quarter, JinkoSolar had completed 617 MW of solar projects.
Margins down, outlook positive
Gross margin stood at 20.3% at the end of the quarter, which was a little below both Q1 and Q4 last year which came in at 24% and 22.8% respectively. Income from operations reached RMB230 million ($37.1 million), which was above Q1 2014 (RMB203.5 million) but slightly off Q4 2014s figure of RMB236.6 million.
Net income attributable to JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltds ordinary shareholders was $8.2 million.
"We had another strong quarter with solid growth as we further solidified our leading position in the global solar industry," said Kangping Chen, JinkoSolars CEO. "As our solar project capacity and pipeline continue to grow and our Malaysia facility begins operations, I am optimistic about new opportunities for the rest of the year."
The companys Malaysia facility commenced operations earlier this week with a capacity of 400 MW of solar cells and 450 MW of modules that, according to the company, is already fully reserved. "We expect that our Malaysia facility will be highly cost-competitive," Chen added. "As we increase production capacity we expect the facility to help drive strong overall gross margins for the rest of the year."
JinkoSolar expects to ramp up its solar power output to between 190 and 200 GWh in Q2 as the companys project capacity grows, in turn contributing "more meaningfully to our net profits and total revenues", Chen said.
The company currently has a further 370 MW of solar projects under development, and is on course to add between 600 to 800 MW of new PV capacity over the course of 2015 aided by new strategic financing agreements with China Minsheng Bank and China Development Bank Leasing.
Geographically, JinkoSolar enjoyed expansion in the U.S., Chilean and Brazilian markets, and "significantly increased" its market share and shipments to the strong markets of Japan and the U.K. "We expect to see strong demand from the Chinese market since next quarter where we remain a market leader," Chen added.
JinkoSolar will also step-up its focus on the development of its high-efficiency black silicon technology, and seek ways to improve its double-glass module, the CEO confirmed.