Preliminary financial results from Centrosolar highlight the challenging environment for German-based PV producers and installers experienced in 2009. The sales volume in the second half of 2009 was almost double the figure for the prior-year period, with module sales reaching 87MW in 2009, compared to 58MW in 2008. However, group sales were down 7% from 2008, at €309 million. Sales in 2008 reached €333 million. Fourth quarter sales topped €105 million.
The company noted that the poor demand in the first half of the year, coupled to falling module prices, impacted results. It was also capacity constrained in the second half of the year, which contributed to limiting revenue growth.
However, Centrosolar believes its focus on rooftop installations and its international footprint and sales overseas will limit the expected sales impact that feed-in tariff cuts in Germany will have on the company. It declined to give a sales forecast for 2010, due to the impending FiT cuts.
The company also highlighted its view on the pending cuts, noting in a financial statement:
‘With regard to the changes to solar subsidies being discussed in Germany, we share the view that the reduction currently being mooted will have considerable consequences, particularly for solar businesses with a strong emphasis on Germany. Overall, it will drastically weaken the German solar industry’s ability to compete internationally and cost jobs. Germany’s solar manufacturers are the best in the world both technologically and in quality terms. However, that position cannot be maintained without a strong home market.’