Chinese Tier-1 solar company JinkoSolar has become the first firm ever to ship more than 2 GW of solar modules in a single quarter. The 2,068 MW of module shipments for Q1 represented a sequential increase of 19.3%, and was an encouraging 29.3% increase year-over-year (YOY).
Revenue growth was narrower, however, rising by 12.8% sequentially and 9.4% YOY to reach $839.3 million. Income from operations was also far below Q1 2016 while gross margin also contracted from 14.3% in Q4 2016 to 11.2% in Q1 due to a slight decline in average selling prices (ASPs), increased silicon prices and higher material costs, JinkoSolar said.
Company CEO Kangping Chen said that Chinese demand remains strong, with growth expected in Q2, although he warned that the June 30 FIT reduction has created uncertainty in the nation’s utility-scale sector. Nevertheless, Chen said, demand has not yet weakened.
“Our deep involvement in the Top Runner and PV Poverty Alleviation projects, as well as distributed generation projects, will provide strong support for demand during the second half of the year,” Chen added.
JinkoSolar expects module shipments to rise even further – perhaps by as much as 25% – in Q2, with the Indian market in particular poised to swallow a larger share of modules and cells from the Chinese giant.
Chen did reveal, however, that there are some short-term industry headwinds, including a shortage of the company’s mono PERC products that are “fully booked out for the rest of the year”, the CEO explained.
JinkoSolar’s profit for Q1 shrunk both sequentially and YOY, but was still a healthy $94.3 million. In Q2, module shipment guidance is in the range of 2.5 to 2.6 GW, while over the course of 2017 the company expects to ship as much as 9 GW of modules.
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