Continuing production curtailment issues at Chinese PV power plants, foreign exchange losses and declining solar ASPs have combined to drag dramatically down Chinese cleantech conglomerate Shunfeng’s 2016 profitability. The company’s consolidated profit fell to just RMB58 million in 2015, from RMB1,304 million ($201 million) in 2014.
Shunfeng registered solar component sales of RMB5,887.1 million ($906 million) in 2015, up 12.6% YoY, with the company also selling RMB105 million ($16.2 million) of PV power plant projects, up 703% YoY. Revenues from selling solar power rose 77.8% YoY to RMB894.2 million ($137.6 million).
"We… made particularly strong progress in our solar business with greater power generation, despite intermittent restrictions on power generated in certain regions, an increase in power plant operations and monitoring service contracts, and an agreement to sell nine solar projects to Chongqing Future Investment," said Shunfeng CEO Eric Luo in a statement. Luo added that the company will continue developing PV power plant projects for sale to third parties.
Shunfeng noted that its "distribution and administrative expenses" increased in 2015 as it continued to expand into international markets.
While Shunfeng at present focuses the bulk of its PV project development activities in China, it signed a deal with CGN Europe Energy, a subsidiary of the China General Nuclear Power Group, to develop PV powers in Europe and other international markets. Shunfeng has also been shortlisted to develop a large scale solar project in Australia, under a government-supported tender process.
SFCE also took a 63.13% equity stake in U.S. producer Suniva in 2015. The move, Shunfeng reports, will allow it is expand into the U.S. high efficiency solar market.
SFCE, which acquired former manufacturing giant Suntech in 2014 for $483 million, sold some 2.28 GW (+6.5% YoY) of solar wafers, cells and modules in 2015. It shipped 91.4 MW of wafers (-84.% YoY), 887.1 MW of cells (+2% YoY) and around 1.3 GW of modules (+90.9% YoY). Its transition from direct wafer sales to incorporating them into module production "somewhat mitigated" falling solar ASPs, Shunfeng reports.
SFCE reported an expanded customer base for its solar production in 2015 and registered strong growth in its international sales, with the segment growing 47.7% YoY.
Shunfeng grew its completed project portfolio in 2015, with its total capacity increasing to 1.78 GW by the end of 2015. Power from its projects grew 67.2%. Most of its projects are in China.
Germany-based monitoring provider meteocontrol registered revenues of RMB105 million ($16 million) in 2015, with the base of projects for which it provides services growing to 12.4 GW in 2015.