European PV plant projects boosts S.A.G. Solarstrom’s first half year sales 62%

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Though acknowledging difficult market condition in Germany in the first half of the year, PV project developer, S.A.G. Solarstrom saw sales boosted by focus on large-scale projects outside Germany. Solarstrom reported a 62% increase in sales for the first half of the year, reaching €137.9 million, compared to €84.9 million in the same 2010 period. Solarstrom’s Project Planning and Plant Construction segment produced the majority of sales so far this year, topping €110.8 million compared to €46.6 million in the first half of 2010.

“We are continuing to grow dynamically and profitably, against the industry trend. Our business has four pillars, in various European countries and in the US,” noted Dr. Karl Kuhlmann, CEO of S.A.G. Solarstrom AG. “We are thus relatively strongly positioned. This strategy, combined with our thorough planning, has paid off in a difficult market, as our positive half-year result very clearly shows.”

Despite the noted reluctance for financing PV projects in Germany and other European markets, Solarstrom noted success in France and Italy, highlighting a 48 MWp project in North Italy that should be completed by the end of August 2011.

Focus on detailed project controlling in the implementation of large-scale projects enabled the company to increase margins by 1.1% to 4.1% in the first half of the year.

In its Partner segment, (40 German firms) sales declined to €16.9 million, due to the sharp decline in the German market, compared with the same period in the previous year, when Partner sales were €29.8 million. Due to the lack of demand in the first half of 2011, the EBIT margin dropped to 3%. Despite this, the business area supplied a positive contribution to earnings and accounted for 7.4% of total EBIT.

Power Production segment sales were €3.5 million, up from €1.4 million in the same period a year ago. Solarstrom noted that it had increased its own power plant portfolio from 5.1MWp to 25.1MWp with the inclusion of the Kamenicna, Czech Republic solar park as well as the sale of 14.2MWp flows directly into this business area.

“As a system integrator, we profit from the reduction in prices of photovoltaic components on the market. Despite cuts in the feed-in tariffs in various European countries, we therefore continue to foresee a very attractive market, particularly in roof-top systems. We are also continuing to expand at an international level. Project business will probably follow the service business in the US in 2012,” added Dr. Kuhlmann.

The company guided full year sales of between €260-€280 million and an EBIT of €16-€18 million.

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