SMA Solar cuts 2021 earnings forecast again, flags impact of global chip shortage

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SMA was already impacted by a shortage of chips and other electronic components last year. Image: SMA Solar Technology.

Inverter supplier SMA Solar Technology has lowered its 2021 earnings forecast even further and has warned of additional headwinds this year due to the ongoing global chip shortage.

Having originally guided for 2021 EBITDA of €75 – 95 million (US$81 – 103 million), SMA lowered the forecast last September due to the undersupply of electronic components and then cut it again in January to €20 – 30 million as a result of a contract issue impacting its operations and maintenance (O&M) business.  

The company has now said there was an agreement on the dissolution of a contract for O&M services for PV power plants. Based on the resulting increased need for provisions, management anticipates 2021 EBITDA of around €9 million.

Sales for last year were €984 million, below the original guidance of between €1,075 million and €1,175 million. SMA’s CEO, Jürgen Reinert, said in September that the company was seeing solar developers postpone the implementation of larger PV plants to this year.

“The global shortage of chips and other electronic components has already impacted SMA’s business development in the second half of 2021,” Reinert said in a statement published last week. “The supply situation remains tight and will continue to present us with challenges as the year progresses.”

For 2022, SMA management is forecasting sales of €900 – 1,050 million and EBITDA of €10 – 60 million, particularly due to the chip shortage.

After overcoming the component shortage, Reinert said management sees “excellent growth prospects for SMA, especially against the background of the intensified global efforts to curb the climate crisis”.

The company will publish full details of its 2021 financial performance on 31 March 2022.

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