REC Solar sees European market shrink 35.6% in Q1

First quarter financial results from Norwegian solar PV manufacturer REC Solar ASA reveal that shipments to the European solar market fell by 35.6% quarter-over-quarter, placing the region behind the U.S. as the company’s largest market.

In Q1, European sales accounted for 39% of REC Solar’s revenue, which was slightly below the U.S. market, which increased in size by 62.7% over that time to become the largest market for the company. In Japan, sales fell 36.4% quarter-over-quarter.

Module revenues were down by 16%, reaching $148.3 million for the quarter – with Europe’s wider solar malaise blamed for this suppressed performance. REC Solar’s total sales fell from $180 million in Q4 2014 to $149.8 million in the first quarter of the year.

According to the company’s financial report, PV module ASPs also fell by 4.2% over the quarter, and will module production grew 2% to reach 263 MW, sales volumes were 12.4% lower for the quarter.

REC Solar’s EBITDA margin for its modules came in at 10.6% in Q1, up slightly from 9.2% in Q4, but was let down by the system business, falling from 14.8% in Q4 to -25.1% in Q1 2015 having posted revenue of just $1.5 million. The overall EBITDA performance of $15.3 million was 9.4% below that of the previous quarter, when it reached $16.7 million.

At the end of Q1, REC Solar’s cash balance stood at $62.1 million, down from $89.9 million on December 31, 2014.

The company completed the sale of the business to Bluestar Elkem Investment Co. Ltd in May for a reported $640 million. A consequent solvent liquidation of the company has since commenced.