SolarWorld Boosts First Quarter 2010 Revenue by 28 Per Cent
Sales in Core Markets Up – Worldwide Capacities Expanded as Scheduled
As an established quality manufacturer SolarWorld was able to benefit from the development of the international solar markets in the first quarter of 2010. Shipments rose versus the same period of the previous year by 22 per cent to 139 (first quarter of 2009: 114) MW. Consolidated revenue increased by 28 per cent and € 49.3 million to € 225.6 million (first quarter 2009: € 176.3m). Thus, SolarWorld succeeded in compensating the industry-wide drop in prices in revenue terms by higher shipments and shifts in the product mix. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to € 24.8 million (first quarter of 2009: € 37.8m). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) ran to € 44.0 million (first quarter of 2009: € 52.5m). The EBIT margin in the first quarter of 2010 was 11.0 (first quarter of 2009: 21.4) per cent. The cash flow from ongoing business activities amounted to € 28.5 million (first quarter of 2009: € -83.7m). As per 31 March 2010 our free liquidity reached € 911.0 million (31 December 2009: € 428.1m).
In the presence of the Federal Environment Minister Dr. Norbert Röttgen SolarWorld AG will celebrate the inauguration of the new wafer production facility at the German site in Freiberg on 31 May 2010. This will give SolarWorld a total capacity of 750 MW at this location. For the further expansion to 1 GW the buildings and the infrastructure are already in place. With a volume of € 350 million this investment project is one of the largest in the history of SolarWorld. This capacity enhancement will not only expand SolarWorld’s international market position as an integrated vendor but also help meet the rising demand from the company’s own module production facilities. These are also to be enlarged continuously: The target at the German site in Freiberg is a nominal year-end capacity of 500 MW and at the US sites in Hillsboro and Camarillo taken together another 500 MW. SolarWorld Korea Ltd. already has a capacity of 300 MW. There, too, a ramp-up to 500 MW is possible. Thus, SolarWorld will maintain its speed of growth worldwide. The SolarWorld Group has also secured for itself the long-term raw material supply for the planned stages of expansion. Together with the Qatar Foundation SolarWorld recently established the Joint Venture Qatar Solar Technologies. From the end of 2012 SolarWorld will have access to this additional silicon supply right at the sources of energy. Qatar produces its electricity on the basis of natural gas. With the conversion of natural gas via electricity into solar-grade silicon the reach of the gas virtually increases by a factor of more than 25, for as long as SolarWorld modules generate, as guaranteed, clean power from the sun.
“Thanks to the planned capacity increases we consider ourselves well positioned to benefit from the growing demand in the international retail markets,“ explains Frank H. Asbeck, Chairman and CEO of SolarWorld AG. “Yet, unlike other competitors our development focus is not on quantity alone but mainly on quality.” Only recently did SolarWorld modules receive the accolade for the second time in a row of being the highest yield modules of all the modules tested in an independent test by Photon trade magazine. In addition they were also rated “very good“ by Öko-Test magazine.
At the same time costs are to be cut further along the entire value chain. To this end, the SolarWorld Group invests continuously in Research & Development. In March the new Technology Center was commissioned at the German production site in Freiberg. In the wafer, cell and module labs new process variants and materials are tested under production conditions.
About SolarWorld AG
The SolarWorld AG Group (ISIN: DE0005108401) is a worldwide leader in offering brand-name, high quality, crystalline solar-power technology. Its strength is its fully integrated solar production. From silicon as the raw material through wafers, cells and modules all the way to turn-key solar systems, including recycling, the group combines all stages of the solar value chain. The central business activity is selling quality modules into the installation and distribution trades and crystalline wafers to the international solar cell industry. Group headquarters are located in Bonn, Germany. Production sites are to be found in Germany, the United States and South Korea. The group´s largest production facilities operate in Freiberg, Germany and Hillsboro in the U.S. State of Oregon. Sustainability is the basis of the group strategy. Under the name Solar2World, the group supports care projects using off-grid solar-power solutions in emerging economies and developing countries, exemplifying sustainable economic development. Worldwide, SolarWorld employs more than 2,700 people. SolarWorld AG has been quoted on the stock exchange since 1999 and today is listed on, among others, the TecDAX, ÖkoDAX, Dow Jones STOXX 600 as well as in the sustainability indices DAXglobal Alternative Energy and NAI.
Contact SolarWorld AG
Investor Relations: Tel.-No.: 0228/55920-470;
Presse: Tel.-No.: 0228/55920-400,