Roth & Rau said that delays in the final acceptance of its new SiNA 2 antireflective coating equipment, which were caused by start-up difficulties, led revenues to fall more than expected in the first half of the year. The company also cited equipment delivery push-outs and order cancellations due to weak demand as reasons for the weaker results. Roth & Rau generated sales of €92.8 million in the first half of 2011, compared to €118.8 million in the prior year period. The company had an EBIT loss of €24.4 million.
“The order situation has cooled off noticeably since June 2011,” commented Dietmar Roth, CEO of Roth & Rau AG. “We expect the subdued demand for production equipment, particularly for use in the manufacture of crystalline silicon solar cells in our core markets, to continue in the coming months. New high-efficiency technologies are currently being developed in the field of cell production, a further reason for our customers’ current reluctance to invest. We therefore expect positive momentum from the market launch of our latest products in the fields of heterojunction technology and reverse side passivation scheduled for the second half of the year.”
Roth & Rau reported that orders on hand totalled €244.2 million as of June 30, compared to €351.1 million in the prior-year period. New orders received in the first half of the year totalled €111.4 million.
However, the company was impacted by a major turnkey order cancellation in the first quarter, valued at €94.4 million, in addition to further cancellations of €16.4 million in the second quarter.
Net new orders after cancellations therefore amounted to only €616,000 in the first half, compared to €265.1 million in the same period a year ago.
“We have largely remedied the ‘teething problems' still witnessed by our SiNA 2 equipment in the first half. This means the delayed projects can be accepted in the near future. Recognising these sales will generate substantial earnings contributions in the second half, thus partly making up for the losses incurred in the first half of the year,” added Roth.
However, management said it was unable to provide full-year guidance due to the dependence on successful project handling and overall market conditions.