Steady Q1 for JA Solar as revenue, shipments increase slightly YOY

JA Solar, a Tier-1 Chinese solar company, has today published solid first quarter (Q1) financial results that were largely in line with expectations.

The company saw slight year-over-year (YOY) increases in revenue and shipments, while operating profit narrowed slightly on the back of lower average selling prices (ASPs) for its solar modules.

Overall shipments of solar cells and modules for Q1 reached 1,392.7 MW, which was 32.5% higher YOY and 2.6% below Q4 2016.

Net revenue was 6.4% higher YOY at $536.4 million – a figure that was sequentially down by 7.5% on Q4 2016 – while operating profit fell from $53.8 million in the previous quarter to just $11.6 million in Q1 2017. The operating margin was 2.2%, compared with 6.4% in Q1 2016 and 9.3% in Q4 2016.

JA Solar chairman and CEO Baofang Jin said that the company’s operating results were in line with expectations, driven by strong external shipments and the strength of the Asia Pacific market. JA Solar expects “solid demand” from China in Q2 as the country accelerates solar demand ahead of the next FIT reduction on June 30.

However, Jin did add that JA Solar is open to the idea of reducing its overheads wherever possible. “Despite near-term strength, we are cautious on the business outlook for the second half of 2017, given limited visibility into customer demand, as well as the competitive pricing environment across multiple geographies,” he said.

“We remain committed to streamlining our operations in order to optimize efficiencies, and are focused on executing our business strategy to provide our customers with high quality products. We continue to believe that our geographic exposure, prudent cost control and flexible business model will enable us to navigate through industry cycles. As market conditions improve, we will be positioned for sustainable long-term growth.”

For Q2, JA Solar guidance expects shipments in the range of 1,550 to 1,650 MW.