centrotherm announces figures for first quarter 2012

  • Group books show major new order from Algeria's Sonelgaz
  • Order book position amounts to EUR 508.2 million
  • Revenue at €82.5 million – loss before interest and tax of €42.9 million
  • Equity ratio increases by 2.1 points to 43.2%

In a difficult market environment, centrotherm photovoltaics AG reports €255.4 million of new order intake in the first quarter of 2012 (prior-year period: €224.3 million).

Following a related advance payment, this new order intake figure now includes the €227.1 million order awarded by Sonelgaz to construct a fully integrated solar module factory in Algeria. The sector and financing situation in the industry remains tense, and continues to be reflected in business trends. The Group generated €82.5 million of revenue in the first three months of this year (previous-year period: €189.3 million). The EBITDA fell to minus €27.9 million (previous-year period: €24.0 million). The Group reported a €42.9 million operating loss at the earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) level (previous-year: €17.7 million profit). The net income came to minus €30.6 million (previous-year period: €12.2 million).

The order book position amounted to €508.2 million as of March 31, 2012 (December
31, 2011: €423.0 million).The equity ratio increased by 2.1 points to 43.2% in comparison with the 31 December 2011. The number of employees decreased by 9.4% to 1,747 (31 December 2011: 1,928).

“With the order to construct a solar factory in Algeria, we are showing that centrotherm is succeeding in a highly competitive solar market with ‘made in Germany’ technology and products. We do, however, continue to face an extremely turbulent market. As a consequence, we incurred €21.5 million of market-related charges in the first quarter, and €6.6 million due to the strategic reorientation of our Thin Film segment," commented Dr. Thomas Riegler, CFO of centrotherm photovoltaics AG. “Our priority in the current period lies completely in the implementation of our ct focus restructuring program of safeguarding liquidity and results.”

Segment trends

In its Silicon & Wafer segment, centrotherm photovoltaics achieved revenue of €37.2 million with the sale of silicon production technology and systems (previous-year period: €29.3 million). The segment reported a €0.2 million operating loss at the earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) level (previous-year period: €2.2 million profit). The segment's order book position stood at €195.5 million as of March 31, 2012 (December 31, 2011: €176.1 million).

In its Solar Cell & Module segment, revenue amounted to €37.2 million (prior-year period: €154.9 million). The segment reported a €32.2 million loss at the EBIT level (previous-year period: €19.3 million profit). This segment's order book stood at €306.3 million at the end of the first quarter (December 31, 2011: €234.6 million).

The Thin Film Module segment generated €8.1 million of revenue (previous-year period: €5.1 million). The segment reported a €10.5 million loss at the EBIT level (prior-year period: €3.8 million loss). The Thin Film Module segment reported an order book position of €6.4 million (December 31, 2011: €12.3 million).

Outlook

"We do not believe that the negative trend in the sector will be reversed in the first six months of 2012," commented CFO Mr. Riegler. "However, we regard the continued cost pressure in the photovoltaic industry as an opportunity. This is because only highly efficient technologies and production systems will lead to competitive advantages for our customers. We will benefit from our product portfolio as soon as the market picks up again.”

The interim report as of March 31, 2012 can be downloaded from the company's website in the Investor Relations area.

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Acknowledgements

Solar Media