US thin-film giant First Solar has seen its third quarter sales surge 51% compared to the same period last year.

The company notched up record quarterly sales of US$1.266 billion compared to US$839 million in the same period last year.

The sale of 50MW of solar farms in Canada and a batch of revenue from the 550MW Desert Sunlight project boosted the figures.

The profit margin stretched 0.4% for Q3 compared to Q3 2012.

"The third quarter marks a key milestone in our company's progress in achieving the strategic objectives we outlined during our Analyst Day event in April," said Jim Hughes, CEO, First Solar.

"During the quarter we delivered on several key objectives, including additional bookings of 860MW DC, significant reductions to our module manufacturing cost and strong financial performance. With these encouraging results achieved, we move forward, focusing on strengthening our leadership position in the marketplace and achieving our strategic objectives for future success."

Despite the strong performance, the company reduced its 2013 guidance from US$3.6-3.8 billion to US$3.4-3.6 billion.