SolarWorld reported third quarter results inline with its recent preliminary announcement but highlighted that its order backlog in the fourth quarter had reached 350MW with confirmed orders stretching into 2015.
The key recovery in SolarWorld’s business has been the strong rebound in PV module sales since completing its major financial restructuring earlier in the year. In the first nine months of 2014 the company had raised PV module sales and to a lesser extent PV kits by 54% to 602MW, compared to only 390MW in the first nine months of 2013.
Despite the shipment rebound the company reported an EBIT loss of €4.1 million (US$5.1 million) and a consolidated net loss of €8.6 million (US$10.7 million) for the period. However, the figures are in stark contrast to the prior year period.
A key indicator of SolarWorld’s recovery comes from its regional sales analysis, which indicated that 43% of sales came from the US in the first nine months, buoyed by the preliminary anti-dumping decision on Chinese and Taiwanese made solar cells.
Management said in its quarterly financial report that the boost in US module sales was also attributed to its PERC cell-based technology, providing high-efficiency modules.
Module shipments in September 2014 were said to have topped 100MW, a new monthly record for the company. Third quarter shipments were 270MW, up 40% from the same quarter of 2013. Around 40MW of shipments in the quarter were said to be allocated to a major 50MW PV power plant project outside Europe that the company had secured a module supply deal for.
Another indicator of SolarWorld’s business recovery is the increase in workforce, which was reported to be 2,751 at the end of September, 2014, compared to 2,095 in the previous year period, a 31% increase. The company recently announced further jobs being created at its manufacturing plant in Oregon, US. The workforce including temporary workers reached 3,409.
SolarWorld reported that external wafer sales fell in the period from 36MW in the previous year to 24MW.
Total nameplate capacity by year-end is expected to reach 1,360MW of solar cells and 1,230MW of modules.
SolarWorld’s revenue in the third quarter was €180.8 million (US$225.2 million) and €408.9 million (US$509.3 million) for the first nine months of 2014.