SMA Solar’s sales drop as limited chip supply dents Q1 performance

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The company sold 2,788MW of inverters during Q1. Image: SMA Solar Technology.

Inverter supplier SMA Solar Technology continues to be affected by considerable challenges in connection with the tight electronic supply of electronic components.

Reporting its Q1 results today, the company posted sales of €220.6 million (US$233 million), an 8.2% decrease on the same quarter last year, as a result of ongoing chip shortages.

Global production capacities for electrical components are not sufficient to cover the sharply increased demand, especially from the automotive electronics and consumer electronics industries, due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to SMA.

The company said this sometimes leads to substantial prolongation of delivery periods “culminating in delivery failure”.

Responding to the chip shortage, SMA has set up a cross-divisional task force while also exploiting redesign opportunities for products that are particularly affected. Nonetheless, management assumes that the situation will not ease significantly over the course of 2022.

CEO Jürgen Reinert said the company is anticipating significant market growth both for its core business of PV as well as for battery storage systems, energy management e-mobility and hydrogen production as fields for the future. “SMA will be able to profit from that once the component shortage has been overcome,” he added.

During Q1 the company sold 2,788MW of inverters, a 17% drop on the same quarter last year, while EBITDA fell 26.4% to €14.8 million.

In the reporting period, SMA generated 54.1% of external sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 24.7% in the Americas and 21.2% in the Asia-Pacific region. Its large scale and project solutions segment made the largest contribution to sales, accounting for 46%, compared with 28.4% for the home solutions business and 25.6% for the commercial and industrial unit.

As of March, SMA had an order backlog of €1.05 billion, 25% higher than the same time last year, as it recorded its highest order intake in the last ten years.

Reinert said that despite the strained supply of electronic components, the company expects to record most of the product-related order backlog as sales by the end of the year.

SMA management has confirmed its 2022 guidance, as published in March, forecasting sales of €900 million – 1.05 billion and EBITDA of €10 – 60 million.

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