Chinese vertically integrated PV producer Jinko Solar has cemented its place as the third largest module producer globally in 2015, with its Q4 and FY 2015 unaudited results, released today, exhibiting substantial growth.
Jinko registered shipment growth of 50.7% QoQ to 1.7099 GW for Q4 2015, which is also a 58.6% YoY increase. Its FY shipments came in at 4.5116 GW, up 53.3% on 2014 results.
Jinko Solar's 2015 module output will see it slightly trailing Canadian Solar (4.6 to 4.9 GW) and Trina Solar (5.5 to 5.6 GW), although increasing its lead over JA Solar (3.4 to 3.5 GW).
92.7 MW of Jinko's production went to its PV power plant projects in Q4 2015, and 304 MW over the FY.
Revenues climbed to $937.7 million, up 49.9% QoQ and 104.4% YoY.
Gross margin of 19.5% was down from 21.3% on Q3 2015, and 22.8% in Q4 2014. Jinko has attributed the decline in gross margins to a seasonal decrease in electricity revenues, from its PV projects, and from curtailment of projects in western China. Jinko Solar CEO Kangping Chen also attributed electricity generation and revenue decline partly to heavy rainfall experienced in eastern China during the quarter.
"Our downstream business remains a key focus of ours as we continue to work on building its long-term viability and sustainability," said Kangping Chen in a statement. "Electricity output during the fourth quarter of 2015 reached 154.4 GWh, down 34% sequentially while generating RMB136.3 million (US$20.85 million) in revenue. We connected 161 MW of solar power projects to the grid during the fourth quarter which brings our total capacity of connected projects to 1,006.6 MW as of December 31, 2015."
The CEO noted that "delays in subsidy catalog update and a prolonged grid connection process" resulted in Jinko missing it project completion and connection target for Q4 2015. It hopes to make up for this shortfall and is accelerating the spin-off of projects in 2016.
Expenses increase, FY financials
Jinko's operating expenses increased sizeably in Q4, up 45.7% QoQ and 58.6% YoY, to $108.1 million, which it attributes to increases in shipping and warranty costs and provisions for accounts receivable. Net interest costs decreased to $15 million for Q4, down 33.5% QoQ, although it increased 18.5% YoY. The YoY increase is due to the growing access to project finance, Jinko reports.
Jinko carried interest-bearing debts of RMB10.29 billion (US$1.59 billion) down from RMB 10.6 billion at the close of Q3. Debts resulting from its project business grew from RMB4.93 billion (US$760.3 million), up from RMB4.07 billion the previous quarter.
Net income of RMB349.4 million (US$53.9 million) was registered for Q4, up from RMB195.1 million in Q3 2015 and RMB244.7 million in Q4 2014.
Jinko reports closing 2015 with RMB4.24 billion ($654.4 million) in cash, restricted cash and equivalents, up from RMB3.7 billion at the end of Q3 2015.
The company has forecast sales of between 1.3 to 1.4 GW in Q1 2016, with sales to reach between 6 to 6.5 GW for the FY. It plans to add a further 600 to 800 MW to its PV power plant portfolio in 2016.
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