JA Solar has published unaudited financial results for the second quarter of 2017, ending June 30th. These show 88% growth in shipments YoY, and 68% up on the previous quarter. Operating profit also saw growth, at CNY 255.1 million ($37.6 million), compared with CNY 188 million ($27.7 million) for the same period in 2016.
59.2% of JA Solar’s external shipments went to projects within China, and a further 24.9% was shipped to the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. Shipments to Europe accounted for 5.1% of the total, and 8.1% went to North America.
Shipments totaling 2.39 GW were well above company guidance of 1.5-1.65 GW. JA Solar is now only the second module manufacturer to break the 2 GW barrier in quarterly shipments, a feat first achieved by JinkoSolar in Q1 2017.
Net revenue for the quarter came in at CNY 6 billion ($878.1 million), a 44.7% increase on the previous year. Gross margin stood at 12.9%, lower than the 15.3% posted in Q2 2016, but a sequential improvement on the 11.7% posted in the previous quarter.
“Robust shipments in China, primarily attributable to accelerated activity ahead of subsidy reductions, drove our YoY double digit revenue growth in the quarter,” explains Baofang Jin, Chairman and CEO at JA Solar. “Additionally, better than expected average selling price and lower blended costs resulted in a 120 basis-point sequential improvement in gross margin.”
These strong results have resulted in JA Solar raising its outlook for full year 2017, despite upcoming headwinds. The company now expects 6.5 – 7 GW in external shipments, from the previous guidance of 6 – 6.5 GW. Guidance for shipments to JA’s own downstream projects, however, has fallen by 100 MW to between 100 and 150 MW.
“We remain cautious on our business outlook as we enter the second half of 2017, given the slowdown in demand in our domestic market, coupled with the uncertainty around the Section 201 trade case in the U.S.,” continues Jin. “We continue to believe our balanced global footprint and flexible business model will enable us to adjust to evolving market conditions.”
Along with the financial results, JA has issued an update on the fire which occurred at its cell production facility in Jiangsu Province, China in July. The company estimates a 500 MW loss in its cell production capacity as a result, and expects to bring this capacity back online in the first quarter of 2018. No one was injured in the fire, the cause of which is still under investigation.