SolarWorld Q1 shipments rise 62% Y-O-Y, but profitability takes a hit

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Preliminary first quarter financials published today by Germany’s SolarWorld have revealed that the company increased its shipments year-over-year by 62% for the first three months of 2016.

A total of 341 MW was shipped in Q1, up from 210 MW last year, with strong growth in the U.S. and German markets cited as a reason for the increase. Further, the company won orders for large-scale solar projects in France, the U.S. and Sri Lanka, which helped to boost shipments.

However, due to currency fluctuations, the firm’s profits for 2016 were suppressed in relation to shipments, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) "almost stable" at €2.1 million ($2.4 million), down from €2.9 million ($3.3 million) in Q1 2015.

According to SolarWorld, currency results were €13.3 million ($15.2 million) below last year’s Q1, but adjusted for the fluctuation in the euro’s value, EBITDA would have amounted to €6.9 million.

Losses narrowed in Q1, falling to €-4.9 million ($-5.6 million), and looking ahead to the second quarter SolarWorld has an order backlog of 540 MW and liquid funds of €182.7 ($210 million) at the ready, which is slightly less than the company had to hand at the same point last year.

The company’s forecast for 2016 reveals that shipments are projected to increase by more than 20%, besting last year’s 1.159 GW, while consolidated revenue is equally expected to grow at a similar rate. SolarWorld hopes to reach €1 billion in revenue for 2016.

Over the course of 2015, the company’s shipments grew 36%.