German manufacturer aleo solar has recorded a 39% drop in revenue in its 2012 annual report published today.
Final figures for the year confirm preliminary estimates of a fall in revenue from €461.8 million (US$591.5 million) last year to €279.9 million (US$358.5 million).
Earnings for before interest (EBIT) and taxes for 2012 closed at €77 million (US$99 million), up from €30.5 million (US$39 million) in 2011. But the EBIT margin fell to -27.7% from -6.6% last year and earnings per share fell to negative €6.48 (US$8.3) from negative €2.47 (US$3.16).
The company blamed its performance on the ongoing erosion in prices in the global solar market and the fact that demand in many of its core European markets had contracted.
In response it said it had restructured by closing its Spanish plant and dissolving avim, its solar joint venture in China.
York zu Putlitz, CEO of aleo solar, said: “We had to close two plants in order to produce more efficiently. Now we are concentrating module production on our Prenzlau plant.”
aleo solar has been producing its new high-efficiency modules at Prenzlau, Germany, since the beginning of 2013.
Another difficulty aleo solar has to contend with is the recent news that Bosch, its majority shareholder, is to shut down its solar operations.
Bosch holds a 90.7% stake in aleo solar, but now plans to dispose of this share as part of its complete exit from photovoltaics. Bosch has said it will continue to finance aleo solar until this time next year.
York zu Putlitz said: “We enhanced our productivity with the help of the Bosch Group’s expertise in manufacturing. We will continue to offer quality modules made in Germany through our own sales network.”
Looking ahead to 2013, aleo solar said it predicted another difficult year.
Because of what it said were “radical” feed-in tariff cuts in some key European markets, the company said it expected to see the number of new installations fall in its most important sales markets accompanied by a further decrease in revenue and anticipated a substantial net loss again for financial year 2013.