A concerted effort to increase sales overseas, though not a player in the expanding China market, SMA Solar Technology reported it had claimed back lost market share in the first 9-months of 2011. As part of the growing regional mix, product mix changed as SMA’s central inverter sales recorded strong growth. SMA reiterated recently lowered guidance for sales in 2011 to be between €1.5 billion to €1.7 billion and operating profit of €220 million to €300 million.
SMA reported 5.4GW of inverter output sold and sales of €1.192 billion, in the first 9-months. Sales in the High Power Solutions segment increased 74.3 % to €321.1 million, compared to €184.2 million in sales in the same period a year ago. The Medium Power Solutions segment was the strongest in share terms at 70.3 % of sales.
High Power Solutions sales contributed 40% of earnings and were driven by market entry into the North American and Indian markets, according to SMA.
Italy, North America, France and Australia were the top performing regions for the company. SMA reported an export ratio of 53.4 % in the first nine months of the year, compared to an export ratio of 38.7% in the prior year period.
SMA management noted that regions such as South America and Africa are being targeted.
Management noted that in the period it had been the second-best operating profit (EBIT) in company’s history at €178 million, though significantly down from €418.2 million in the prior year period.
Management also noted that it expected a shakeout of smaller inverter manufacturers after a significant number entered the market after capacity shortages impacted installation growth in recent years. The overcapacity, low inverter factory utilization rates and overall flat demand is behind the expected consolidation.