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SMA Solar has announced second quarter 2012 results, which analyst Julien Desmaretz of Bryan Garnier has described as a solid overall performance.
SMA Solar has continued its growth in the second quarter. During the first half of the year, the company sold PV inverters with a total output of 4GW (Q1-Q2 2011: 3.1GW) and increased sales compared to the same period last year by 16.6% to €833.7 million (Q1-Q2 2011: €715.0 million).
Gross foreign sales rose by 12.1% compared to the same period last year to €463.9 million (Q1-Q2 2011: €413.8 million). This corresponds to an export ratio of 53.7% (Q1-Q2 2011: 56.3%).
In the first half of 2012, SMA claims development of demand was characterized to a decisive extent by the clear changes in subsidy conditions in certain European PV markets. This resulted in demand for inverters for PV rooftop systems being brought forward. In addition, catch-up effects, resulting, for example, from a high level of commercial commissioning in Germany in the fourth quarter of 2011, had a positive influence on demand in this area.
However, in July, SMA Solar Technology suffered three straight days of losses, with the company falling to a record low in intraday value. SMA fell as much as 8% to €21 per share, bringing the company’s shares to an almost 50% loss this year.
"In the first half of the year, SMA achieved or even exceeded its own expectations in many areas despite a difficult market environment. Particularly, the policy of internationalization, adopted by us at an early stage, resulted in a positive development of our international business. At the same time, however, we also again demonstrated our innovative strength during the first half of the year. With over 300 patents granted worldwide and a similar number of ongoing patent applications, SMA is more innovative than ever before," explained Pierre-Pascal Urbon, speaker of the managing board and chief financial officer for SMA.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the first half of 2012 were €83.7 million (Q1-Q2 2011: €103.7 million). The EBIT margin of 10.0% is at the upper end of the earnings forecast (Q1-Q2 2011: 14.5%). Consolidated net profit was €59.4 million (Q1-Q2 2011: €73.5 million). In the first half of the year, SMA strongly increased gross cash flow to €104.3 million compared to the previous year (Q1-Q2 2011: €65.3 million).
"Capital and financial markets are currently dominated by great uncertainty. Particularly against this background, SMA’s financial independence is an enormous competitive advantage. To ensure that this also remains the case in future, the managing board has prepared all employees for the changed framework conditions. We are therefore confident that SMA will emerge strengthened from the industry’s changes. We are a highly motivated team focussedly working on the implementation of a decentralized energy supply," comments Urbon.
Desmaretz concludes that, “Management increased its PV installations forecasts for 2012 from 29-31GW to 31-33GW, suggesting a growth of more than 25%. SMA’s release commentary is of importance for the whole PV sector, given its excellent visibility (relatively to other PV companies) and dominant (~40-45%) inverter market share.”