Power-One sales in Q1 boosted by rush to beat end of Italian PV incentives

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PV inverter manufacturer, Power-One reported a small increase in sales in the first quarter of 2012 on the back of a rush to complete commercial project in Italy.

The company reported first quarter total revenue of $205 million, up US$7 million, from US$192 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. However, sales from its Renewable Energy SBU accounted for the revenue increase, which had sales of US$146 million, compared to US$123 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 and $149 million in the first quarter of 2012. The company affectively broke even in the quarter. 

Management noted in a call to discuss results that PV inverter demand in Italy increased after poor sales in the fourth quarter, due to project developers pushing to complete projects by the middle of the year in anticipation of funds allocated to the Conto Energia V program being fully allocated, ending current funding. However, management noted that demand in the region of 1GW per annum was expected outside funding.

On a regional basis, EMEA represented 81% of revenue from its Renewable Energy SBU, with 33% of that total coming from Italy. A small pick-up in demand was seen in Germany in the quarter, which accounted for 15% of segment revenue.

However, demand in North America only accounted for 13% of Renewable Energy SBU sales, while Asia-Pacific represented 6%. The company expects better results in North America in future quarters due to expected larger PV power plant project business in the second half of the year.

The partnership deal done with Panasonic has yet to kick-in for the booming Japanese market. The situation was similar in China, having previously announced a partnership with Phono Solar.

Power-One said that it shipped a total of 765MW in the first quarter, up sequentially from 628MW shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012. Higher volume was seen for both the commercial and residential markets, but lower volume for the utility market in the quarter.

Despite management noting that the pending decision by the EU Commission on modules being dumped on the market from China had hampered financing of PV projects in Europe, Power-One management guided second quarter sales to be between 5% – 10% to between US$215 million to US$230 million.

The pending acquisition by ABB may have been responsible for the lack of financial analysts on the call. Only one analyst asked questions on the call.


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