Conergy optimistic about 2013

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Unshackled from its polysilicon purchasing contract with MEMC and tight financial controls, Conergy expects a positive cash flow in 2013.

However, the PV module manufacturer and project developer reported negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €69 million, though down from negative EBITDA in 2011 of €80.3 million.

Conergy said that it had reduced its EBIT loss by more than half to €83.8 million in 2012, down from €179.0 million in 2011.

The company reported a 37% decline in sales to €473.5 million in 2012, despite sales volume remaining relatively stable at 370MW, 6% down from 2011. The sales decline was due to price declines of 40%.

Philip Comberg, CEO of Conergy said: “2012 was an eventful and decisive year. Despite the difficult situation in the industry, we continued Conergy’s reorganisation with undiminished vigour. We are committed to ensuring Conergy is positioned for long-term success. Among other important measures, terminating the contract with MEMC was a vital and logical step in our structural change. This makes us optimistic for the current financial year. We want to build on the good performance recorded in the first half of 2012. We aim to achieve a slightly positive EBITDA this year, and therefore return to the black in our operative business.”

On a geographic basis, sales outside Germany accounted for 73% of revenue in 2012. Conergy increased sales in Thailand by 100% in 2012, due to a major 50MW order. Business in Greece increased by 36% and in Italy by 11%, according to the company.  Further large-scale project business in Thailand was said to have extended into the first quarter of 2013.

However, the feed-in tariff changes in Germany, after strong sales in the first half of the year, led to an overall sales decline of approximately 14%.

“With our contract in Thailand we have laid the foundation in the first quarter. We are satisfied with the development of business in the first quarter. In order to improve our access to the high-volume project business and to implement our project pipeline more effectively, we have negotiated with various partners on financing and interim financing solutions in recent months. We expect our business in Asia as well as in the US growth market to increase significantly in 2013. Further new export markets, for example in Eastern Europe, are gaining in importance,” added Comberg

Conergy expects increased sales of between €650 and €750 million in 2013 and a positive cash flow from operations. Management noted that it expected much lower ASP erosion in 2013 and was focused on increased revenue from increase its large-scale project business in Asia, North America and new export markets in Eastern Europe. 

Higher module plant utilisation rates were also expected as a consequence of the EU anti-dumping investigation and overall industry consolidation that is starting to reduce overcapacity. 

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