Phoenix Solar bounces back in 2015

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Yesterday Phoenix Solar released results for the fourth quarter and full year 2015, reporting that it more than tripled revenues to €119 million (US$135 million), while also more than tripling installations to 99 MW.

This follows on a very bad year in 2014, when revenues plummeted more than 3/4 to only €33.8 million and the company saw its third consecutive year of negative margins. All utility-scale solar developers and contractors see uneven results from quarter to quarter, but such an intense year-over-year change is more unusual and indicates bigger challenges than mere timing of project completion.

Like many German developers and EPCs, in previous years Phoenix Solar was dependent upon the German PV market. The company underwent painful restructuring along with internationalization when feed-in tariff cuts brought the German market to its knees beginning in 2013, but was having difficulties even during the height of the German market.

Phoenix still brought in a negative result over the course of 2015, but narrowed its operating margin to -1.3%. And while the company still lost €4.4 million during the year, its fourth quarter saw a positive net result. The company achieved a small positive cash flow during the year.

More promising is Phoenix Solar’s backlog, which stood at a record level of €196 million, and the company plans to build 150 to 175 MW of PV during 2016, as well as expecting to return to profitability on an operating result basis.

Underlying Phoenix Solar’s growth is a €101 million financing package, which the company says will fund its “strong organic growth” in 2016 as well as “further geographical expansion”. The company has identified the United States, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as its key geographic regions.