In giving a positive full-year financial guidance of solar inverter sales potentially up by 7%, SMA Solar Technology (SMA) expects the global solar market to see positive growth in 2009. Although the company did not give any further details, SMA said in a statement that the market should exceed the record levels set in 2008 of 5.7GW installed, despite the current economic and PV related market conditions.
“Due to the global promotion programs, the photovoltaic industry has been largely able to separate from the development of the global economic cycle. We hold fast to our estimate that on the long-term, the photovoltaic industry is a growth market. The financial and economic crisis does only decelerate this growth in partial markets,” commented Günther Cramer, SMA’s CEO. “For 2009, we expect growth of the photovoltaic market as compared to the 5.7 GW of the previous year–despite the crisis. Recovery of the global demand for photovoltaic systems is already clearly noticeable. Due to our technology leadership, our complete product range, our flexibility and our global presence, we are perfectly positioned to benefit from this growth.”
SMA said that it had seen growth in countries outside Germany with strong demand for inverters in the USA, Australia, Belgium, France and Italy. Product mix in the first quarter was primarily the Sunny Boy product group with low power classes, while Sunny Mini Central product group sales dictating in the second quarter due to increased activity in the large-scale solar project market. Total sales in the first half-year equate to sold inverter power of 792MW.
Full-years sales are expected to be in the range of €680 to €730 million. The lower end of the guidance corresponds approximately to the sales of the previous year (previous year: EUR 681.6 million), the upper end is 7% higher.
Many market research firms are expected the PV industry to experience negative growth this year with declines of over 20% in some forecasts, compared to 2008.