GT Solar at full steam ahead: backlog stands at US$2.3 billion as sales up 71%

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

Despite current weakness in solar related equipment spending, due to weak demand for PV modules in the first half of the year and a longer than expected inventory build, GT Solar posted first quarter financial year revenue of US$231.1 million, compared to US$271.6 million last quarter and up 71% from the US$135.2 million of revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Record order backlog stood at US$2.3 billion.

The results and backlog would seem to be in direct contrast to many expected results from a string of leading equipment and materials suppliers to the PV industry, which are due over the next month or so. 

Commenting on GT Solar’s growth, rather than the PV equipment industry’s general trend for weakening sales, Solarbuzz analyst, Finlay Colville told PV-Tech that GT Solar was setting itself apart from the crowd.

“GT Solar is uniquely positioned as an equipment supplier to the PV industry today, and this distinction is currently allowing them to sustain Y/Y revenue growth (and retain fiscal year 2012 guidance) at a time when nearly every other PV equipment supplier is being impacted adversely by the cyclic downturn in spending. While other equipment suppliers are anticipated to see strong Q/Q revenue declines during CY Q3’11 and Q4’11, GT Solar is expected to return CY 2H’11 PV-industry-specific revenues approximately flat with 1H’11,” commented Colville.

“There is no other PV equipment supplier today that commands strong revenues and market share within both poly and non-poly segments of the PV industry. Other PV equipment suppliers (mostly serving the ingot-to-module segment only) due to report in the next few weeks are expected to reveal declining order intakes and backlogs. These equipment suppliers are currently relying on high-efficiency upgrades through 2012 to compensate for declines in new tools required. GT Solar is in the fortunate position however that upgrade tooling offers incremental upside,” added Colville.

GT Solar reported an order backlog of US$2.3 billion, as of July 2, 2011, which is the highest level of quarter-ending backlog ever achieved by the company.

The order backlog for its polysilicon segment stood at US$978.2 million, which has recently been boosted by new orders from new customers. The backlog in its PV segment came in at US$369.6 million.

Although unrelated to the PV sector, GT Solar reported a backlog for sapphire furnaces and systems of a significant US$952.5 million, its newest market presence.

“There are several reasons that GT Solar should be treated somewhat different to other PV equipment suppliers. The most obvious (and often overlooked) factor is that GT Solar does not participate in the thin-film PV segment – this removes the threat of lumpy bookings and customer funding that is not directly linked to industry supply/demand dynamics. But the key factor right now is their (strong market-share) participation in tool supply to both the poly and upstream (ingot/wafer) segments of the PV industry, and – more crucially – the fact that each of poly and ingot/wafer equipment spending operates with different cyclic behaviour. Currently, ingot/wafering is approaching the peak of its spending cycle before dropping off significantly from CY Q1’12. GT Solar’s poly revenues are forecast to see strong growth – almost at exactly the same time as the ingot revenues decline.”

Tom Gutierrez, president and chief executive officer of GT Solar also highlighted that sales, due to the record backlog status were already looking healthy a year from now, despite market uncertainty.

“Bolstered by our $2.3 billion backlog position, we are confident in our ability to achieve our FY12 guidance and also believe that we have built a solid foundation for continued growth in FY13 and beyond,” commented Gutierrez.

GT Solar reiterated its fiscal 2012 guidance for revenue in the range of US$1.0-$1.1 billion, while raising its gross margin guidance to a range of 43-45%, up from the prior guidance of 42-44%.
 

22 September 2021
To commemorate the World Energy Storage Day(WESD) on 22 September, being recognized worldwide, Customized Energy Solutions (CES) and India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) is organising the 5th global conference and virtual expo, which will be held virtually on 22 September 2021. WESD is a global movement initiated by various apex trade bodies working to promote and adopt energy storage, e-mobility & green hydrogen technologies for a sustainable future. The forthcoming edition of WESD is expected to attract global participation with an intent to facilitate bi-lateral trade, market development and new research and innovation, which will invite 100+ countries, 100+ regulators & policy makers, 100+ International speakers,1000+ organisations, 100+ partners & exhibitors and 20,000+ global delegates.
28 September 2021
Solar Solutions International is the largest trade show for solar energy in Northwest Europe. Now the solar market has grown up, it's time for the next step. Solar Solutions International displays more than 500 innovations and over 100 practical seminars concerning the latest in energy storage, smart products, and an ever evolving array of solar panels. As an exclusively B2B trade show, Solar Solutions International offers both exhibitors and visitors the chance to network at the highest level. Duurzaam Verwarmd, the largest trade show for sustainable HVAC technology in the Benelux, is held simultaneously. This way your one visit gets you up to date with all of the developments in both sustainable energy and heating.
6 October 2021
Intersolar Europe is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry. It takes place as part of The smarter E Europe – the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry. Under the motto “Connecting solar business,” manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and project planners and developers from around the world meet in Munich every year to discuss the latest developments and trends, explore innovations firsthand and meet potential new customers.
6 October 2021
The future is bright for a new era of US solar and storage, and the 8th annual Solar & Storage Finance Summit will provide opportunities to discuss solutions to the industry’s challenges and provide a networking platform designed to bring together the top minds in the industry to do business. With a mix of high-level, informative presentations and panels, a stellar cast of speakers and audience members with deal-making capacity, the 2021 edition of the event will be a sell-out success.
18 October 2021
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil on October 18–20, 2021, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry.
19 October 2021
This year’s EV World Congress will hold a special role, not only as the first live EverythingEV event in over a year – a chance to renew your connections and re-engage with the EV sector face to face – but also as a chance to share insight and inspiration as world starts to look towards move on post COVID towards hitting ambitious decarbonisation goals in 2030 and beyond. As ever, we will be bringing world leading organisations, cities, and technology providers to the UK to inspire EV innovators, and delve into the challenges facing the sector as the UK looks to revolutionise road transport.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
September 21, 2021
Pressures on PV plant performance have led the solar industry to be more demanding and forensic of the data operational projects generate, as well as the power. Jules Scully explores the growing role software is playing in the utility-scale solar arena and how it must evolve further still to meet expectations.
September 21, 2021
A round-up of the latest news from the US PV sector, including project developments from Ørsted, Candela Renewables and CEP Renewables.
September 21, 2021
New York’s governor has proposed an expansion of the NY-Sun distributed solar incentive programme and revealed plans for two transmission projects that will transport renewable energy to New York City to help the state reach 70% renewable electricity by 2030.
September 21, 2021
German solar installer Enpal has raised €345 million (US$405 million) in debt financing to fund the deployment of more than 15,000 household solar PV systems
September 21, 2021
India added 521MW of rooftop solar in Q2 2021, an increase of 517% compared to the 85MW added in the same quarter last year despite a slight increase in costs, according to a Mercom India report.
September 21, 2021
Private equity firm American Securities has secured a deal to acquire US solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) provider Swinerton Renewable Energy and its operations and maintenance (O&M) subsidiary SOLV from Swinerton Incorporated.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021