Canadian Solar has posted a healthy net revenue figure of US$443.4 million for the first quarter of the year. This number was inspired by strong module shipments and is up 31.6% from the corresponding figure in 2010 of US$336.9 million.
The aforementioned module shipments came in at 244MW – a 31.9% increase on Q1 2010 and also up slightly from the 237MW delivered in Q4. Once more, success in Europe proved to be the driving force behind these impressive numbers, with sales on the continent accounting for 75.7% of global Q1 sales; North America, Asia and others regions represented 12.2% each.
Improved efficiencies of in-house cell production also helped the company’s Q1 gross margin rise to 14.7%. While this figure represented a 2% year-on-year rise, due to rising raw material costs and lower average prices, it was also a slight decrease on the Q4 2010 result.
“First quarter 2011 results were in line with prior guidance,” claimed Canadian Solar’s chairman and CEO, Shawn Qu. “Based on sales volumes and customer feedback, Canadian Solar continues to build a successful downstream brand and gain market share in key solar industry markets worldwide.
“The Canadian market continues to be encouraging, with sales volumes expected to nearly double in 2011 compared to 2010. Also, indications are that the demand in Japan will return to more normal levels in the third quarter of 2011, once activity levels recover from the recent natural disaster. Finally, we continue to expand our brand and business in Germany and the US, among other markets.”
Building on its early 2011 successes, Canadian Solar expects to ship between 245-255MW of panels in Q2, with 100MW of that to be recognised as revenue in the Q3 because of contract terms. Year-end shipments are still forecast to be in the range of 1.2-1.3GW.