centrotherm photovoltaics first half year sales up 54% at €428.6 million

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Strong demand for single equipment systems dominated revenue generation for centrotherm photovoltaics in the first-half of 2011. The major PV equipment supplier reported revenue of €428.6 million, up 54% compared to the first-half of 2010, when sales reached €278.3 million. Operating profits (EBIT) were up 57.2 % at €53.2 million, while its Solar Cell & Module division accounted for the biggest share of revenue on the back of record figures, contributing about 89% of sales and generating an EBIT margin of 21.4 %. centrotherm photovoltaics, Thin Film segment continued making a loss. The company’s Silicon & Wafer segment saw sales fall due to various projects completed in the same period.

“In the first six months of this year, we have profited from strong demand which is clearly reflected in our Group figures,” commented Dr. Thomas Riegler, CFO of centrotherm photovoltaics AG. “Sales were driven predominantly by single systems which accounted for 86.1 % of sales revenues – that‘s more than four fifths – especially in the Solar Cell & Module segment.”

The Solar Cell & Module segments record sales actually doubled to €382.0 million, compared to the same period a year ago. This segment contributed 89.1 % of consolidated turnover with an operating profit (EBIT) up 93.4 % at €81.7 million. The EBIT margin was 21.4 %, down from 23.4 % in the first-half of 2010.

Orders on hand in the Solar Cell & Module segment stood at €444.9 million, down from €513.8 million as of December 31, 2010.

The Silicon & Wafer segment sales were down due to several major projects being brought to completion at the same time, according to the company. Sales were reported at €33.9 million, compared to €90.7 million in the same period in 2010, generating a loss of €15.8 million.

However, in the second-half of the year, centrotherm photovoltaics, expects a positive contribution to revenue and profit from a major polysilicon project in Qatar.

Orders on hand in this segment stood at €243.4 million as of June 30th, 2011, only slightly down from €277.1 million reported for December 31, 2010.

In the Thin Film segment centrotherm photovoltaics generated sales revenues of €12.7 million, compared to €7.2 million in the same period a year ago. Earnings (EBIT) was said to have developed in line with expectations, improving to a negative €12.6 million, compared to €16.2 million in the first-half of 2010.

Overall order backlog stood at €715.2 million, down from €843.8 million as of December 31, 2010. Orders received in the first six months amounted to €344.5 million, compared to €353.3 million reported in the first-half of 2010.

“Both the market in general and our customers in particular recognize our technological strengths and our competence all along the solar value chain. With this in mind we are confirming our forecast for financial year 2011 with sales rising to between €690 and €710 million and an EBIT margin in the low double-digit range,” commented, Robert M. Hartung, CEO and Management Board Chairman of centrotherm photovoltaics AG.

Recently, centrotherm photovoltaics noted that it had identified significant demand from solar cell manufacturers, demanding or technology pushing higher efficiencies. The company had noted a potential market value of over €1 billion by the end of 2012.

centrotherm touted its selective emitter technology could increase the efficiency of monocrystalline solar cells up to 0.4% to reach an efficiency level of well over 18%. If its ‘centaurus’ rear side technology was also used, efficiencies could reach the 19% range.

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