- Pressemitteilung BoxID 507727
Ad hoc announcement: CENTROSOLAR GROUP AG:Sales volume increased slightly - drive to internationalise continues
However, the prices of solar modules and systems continued to deteriorate in the first quarter. The average sales price of a standard module compared to Q4 2011 was down 17 %, and compared to the first quarter of the previous year it was all of 42 % lower. This change is also reflected in the revenue performance of CENTROSOLAR Group AG. The group's overall revenue of EUR 56.5 million was 21 % down on the prior-year figure (EUR 71.1 million), despite the volume increase mentioned above.
Despite the anticipatory effects in Germany, the 65 % share of revenue generated internationally is actually slightly higher than the average for the 2011 financial year. The sales basis was moreover diversified: While the three highest-revenue countries (Germany, France and Italy) still generated over three-quarters of consolidated revenue in the first quarter of 2011, the concentration on individual sales markets was significantly reduced in the first quarter of the current financial year. The UK, Italy, France and the USA each brought in between 9 and 14 % of total revenue.
The external revenue share of the Solar Key Components segment rose from 26 % to 32 %. The mounting systems area in particular enjoyed healthy revenue growth.
Whereas a special boom in the Italian market in 2011 led to an exceptionally positive profit performance for the first quarter, the seasonally weaker revenue and the huge pressure on prices and margins adversely affected the earnings performance in Q1 2012. The gross profit for the quarter of EUR 18.0 million was EUR 5.5 million or 23 % down on the prior-year level (EUR 23.5 million). Operating costs were actually reduced slightly in the past quarter compared with the prior-year quarter, despite higher sales volumes and production capacities, the start-up costs for Gecko Energies GmbH following its acquisition in January and the write-off of an advance payment to a now-bankrupt cell supplier. There nevertheless remained an operating loss before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 4.8 million (compared with a profit of EUR 0.3 million in the previous year). The net earnings per share came to EUR -0.26 (previous year EUR -0.04).
Since prices again fell markedly in the first quarter and the financial incentives available in Germany and Italy are seemingly becoming less and less attractive, the company expects that its revenue for the year will be towards the lower end of the range previously forecast of EUR 250 to 300 million. CENTROSOLAR still expects the operating result to show a year-on-year improvement.
The sharp falls in the prices of photovoltaic systems make the levelised cost of solar power already lower than retail electricity prices in many markets, and in some cases quite significantly cheaper. Roof systems that generate power for internal consumption are therefore the first solutions that can compete with electricity bought from a utility company. CENTROSOLAR has always tailored its strategy to the segment of small to medium-size roof systems and secured a strong competitive position in that area. Furthermore, CENTROSOLAR considers itself to be a leading developer of solutions for maximising the amount of power that can be used by the owner - as exemplified by its new combined PV and heat-pump system.
CENTROSOLAR considers itself to be well placed to pull through the current environment of consolidation and corner a larger share of the industry's growth following this phase of consolidation. Thanks to having built up a strong sales organisation over a number of years, along with its flexible purchasing policy and its continuous improvement processes aimed at optimising costs, the company has long been prepared for tackling an intensely competitive environment. CENTROSOLAR is moreover able to set itself apart from the competition by focusing on roof systems and being able to offer patented key components such as its anti-reflective coated solar glass. With its broad-based financing structure, the company has furthermore given itself leeway and reduced its dependence on individual lenders.
Über CENTROSOLAR Group AG
The listed company CENTROSOLAR Group AG, Munich, (stock exchange code WKN 514850) is one of the leading suppliers of photovoltaic (PV) systems for roofs and key components, with over 1,000 employees in Europe and North America and annual revenue of almost EUR 300 million (2011). Its product range comprises solar integrated systems, modules, inverters, mounting systems and solar glass. Over half of revenue is generated internationally. There are CENTROSOLAR branches in Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the UK, Canada and the USA.
CENTROSOLAR manufactures solar glass at plants in Germany and China as well as photovoltaic modules at a production plant in Wismar (Germany). Over recent years, the production lines for the finishing of glass have been substantially extended in response to rising demand and now have an annual production capacity of eight million square metres. Module manufacturing, too, has seen a considerable increase. The module plant certified to DIN ISO 9001:2008 in Wismar is one of the largest and most efficient such plants in Europe, with an annual capacity of 350 MWp. For further information, visit: www.centrosolar-group.com.
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