Silicon crystallisation equipment supplier PVA TePla generated revenue of €83.7 (US$106.3 million) in the first nine months of 2012, slightly higher than the same period a year ago when revenue reached €77.3 million.
Having a diversified business helped soften the blow from the acute overcapacity in the PV industry. Sales within its Solar Systems division were only €6.6 million for the first nine months, down from €10.1 million in the same period of 2011. Operating earnings (EBIT) amounted to €6.2 million.
However, order intake this year within its Solar Systems division has amounted to only €1 million. Overall order intake from all segments (€42.2 million) has fallen to a book-to-bill ratio of 0.4, down significantly from a book-to-bill of 1.7 in the previous year period.
Management noted in its financial filings that it didn’t expect an improvement in solar related orders through next year, though there was some potential order activity for silicon crystallization equipment from new market regions, wanting to enter the PV market for political reasons.
However, R&D expenditures of approximately €2.4 million were primarily spent within its Solar Systems division that were related to a prototype floatzone monocrystalline system, which was said to be ready for customer trials.
The company also said that it instigate a new round of cost cutting measures, which included the stop of using hired workers and short-time work would be introduced at the Jena and Wettenberg locations in Germany around the end of the year.
Significantly lower order intake has meant that the company has lowered its full-year guidance to between €105 million and €110 million, down from its previous forecast of between €120 million and €130 million.