SMA Solar sales hit by further market woes

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PV inverter leader, SMA Solar Technology, has said it will not meet full-year revenue guidance on the back of pricing pressure and further unexpected weakness in its core European markets.

The company had previously guided down full-year revenue to between €0.9 billion to €1.3 billion with a possibility of achieving a breakeven position. However, the company expects to produce a loss of €80 million to €90 million on revenue of between €0.9 billion to €1.0 billion.

Pierre-Pascal Urbon, CEO of SMA Solar said: “As the world market leader, SMA is particularly affected by the changed conditions on the global photovoltaic market. The market is characterised by high price pressure worldwide. Furthermore, we have a strongly declining demand in our core markets in Europe, that cannot be compensated by the new Asian and American markets. As a result, we adjusted the structures to the changed market conditions and devaluated assets. In addition, there are the start-up losses of Zeversolar.”

The company is being impacted by strong competition and continued ASP declines as well as expectations that its core market in Germany will be several gigawatts down this year on 2012 installation figures.

SMA Solar has not been a major player in the booming markets of Japan and China though the company expects new products for the Japanese market will help it increase its market penetration in Japan in 2014, while the re-organisation of Zeversolar will boost sales in China next year.

The company noted that these developments in particular should support revenue in 2014 reaching the previously guided levels for 2013 and return the company to profitability.

“With our existing strategy and the measures already introduced, we have taken the necessary steps to be able to return to profitability and sales growth in 2014. Especially the cost reduction and personnel adjustment measures already started will be fully effective for the first time in 2014.

“With launching the Sunny Tripower in the US and Japan, we will also profit from the strong growth expected in these regions. In addition, we will launch first products from our completely newly developed product platforms. SMA offers highly innovative solutions exactly tailored to the requirements of our future energy supply, which allow us to set ourselves apart from competitors particularly in this attractive growth segment,” added Urbon.

However, SMA Solar has also being losing market share to major rivals for several years, indicating that the lower revenue guidance while global installations reach another record year of over 35GW mean that further market share losses are expected in 2013.
 

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