Yingli Q1 profit of $72.8m is first for company since 2011

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Tier-1 Chinese solar producer Yingli registered its first quarterly profit in nearly five years in Q1 2016 as the debt-stalked company enjoyed something of a turnaround in its fortunes.

Gross profit for the first three months of the year was RMB 469.3 million ($72.8 million), which represented a significant 90% increase on Q4 2015 (RMB 248.3 million). Gross margin for the quarter hit 20%, up from 11.8% in Q4 2015, with PV module shipments increasing slightly from 504.5 MW in Q4 2015 to 508.1 MW in Q1 2016.

This increase helped to spur revenues to RMB 2,351.1 million ($364.6 million) for the quarter, thanks largely to Yingli’s success in increasing its shipments to the higher-cost marketsYingli’s success in increasing its shipments to the higher-cost markets of Japan and the U.S. – shipments to these two countries accounted for 40% and 14% of total shipments for the quarter.

Yingli’s figures also showed that operating income was RMB 186.4 million ($28.9 million) for the quarter, contrasted to an operating loss of RMB 1,120.3 million in Q4 2015.Net income, meanwhile, reached a solid $12.3 million (RMB 79.6 million).

Having reached 15 GW of module shipments globally in the quarter, Yingli Green Energy chairman and CEO Liansheng Miao spoke confidently about the company’s robust performance in the first quarter of the year, highlighting the turnaround in fortunes compared to the tail-end of 2015, and underlining the importance to the company of the Japanese, American and Chinese markets.

"We expect strong demand from Japan to continue in 2016 before Japan’s announced reduction of subsidies for PV becomes effective in April 2017," Miao said. "We also had a solid first quarter in the U.S., with shipment representing approximately 14% of our total shipments, compared to approximately 10% in Q4 2015.

"In China," he added, "we have secured orders of approximately 820 MW by the end of May due to robust demand in the first half of 2016."

The CEO also spoke of Yingli’s success in commercializing its bifacial series of monocrystalline modules, which have been installed at a 50 MW solar farm in Datong, Shanxi province under the "Top Runner" program, A focus on "high-end products" will characterize the company’s efforts for the remainder of the year, Miao concluded.