Phoenix Solar expects further growth in 2009; targets 60% thin-film installation

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Despite a major fall-off in installations in the fourth quarter of 2008 due to the early onset of winter in Germany, a complete end of projects in Spain and large-scale project finance difficulties due to the financial crisis, Phoenix Solar AG posted record sales for 2008, reaching €402 million, compared to €260 million in 2007. Based on its current backlog, the PV systems integrator expects sales to reach approximately €520 million in 2009.

Phoenix Solar has experienced a CAGR of 78% since 2000 and expects to increase its business outside of Germany to more than 35% of revenues in 2009 and 50% by the end of 2010. In the long term, Phoenix Solar plans overseas sales to reach approximately 65% by the end of 2013.

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A key part of the growth strategy would seem to be the emphasis on thin-film technologies. Phoenix Solar was one of the first integrators to offer thin-film modules from First Solar, which has seen its thin-film product mix grow from 21.5% of installations to 57.2% in 2008. Phoenix Solar’s thin-film product mix is expected to further increase to approximately 60% in 2009.

Thin-film technology agnostic Phoenix Solar has secured long-term supply contracts with a host of players that include start-ups such as Signet Solar (50MW, 2008-2011), which uses Applied Materials’ ‘SunFab’ technology, and Solyndra in a deal worth €450 million in the same timeframe.

The company expects power plant projects to resume growth in 2Q09 and installations to peak in 4Q09, returning to normal seasonal trends after the disruption in Spain, which caused an installation peak in 3Q08 due to feed-in tariff changes and a new MW cap being imposed.

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