SolarWorld reports positive first quarter results: capacity expansions go ahead as planned

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SolarWorld benefits from the development of the international solar markets in the first quarter of 2010, reporting a rise in shipments and a consolidated revenue increase in comparison to the first quarter of 2009. The Group’s shipments rose by 22% to 139MW versus the same period of the previous year, while the consolidated revenue increased by 28% from €49.3 million to €225.6 million.

Company EBIT amounted to €24.8 million compared to €37.8m in 2009 while EBITDA ran to €44.0 million in comparison to €52.5m in first quarter of 2009. The EBIT margin in the first quarter of 2010 was 11.0% (first quarter of 2009: 21.4%). The cash flow from ongoing business activities increased to €28.5 million (€-83.7m the year before). The Group’s free liquidity reached €911.0 million as per March 31, an increase on the 2009 figure of €428.1m.

Furthermore, SolarWorld is set for significant expansion in 2010, celebrating the inauguration of its new wafer production facility at the German site in Freiberg on May 31. This will provide the company with a total capacity of 750MW at this location. The buildings and the infrastructure are also in place for further expansion to 1GW.

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The target at the German site in Freiberg is a nominal year-end capacity of 500MW with a further 500MW at the U.S. sites in Hillsboro and Camarillo. SolarWorld Korea already has a capacity of 300MW, with a capacity expansion of 500MW expected. The Group has also secured for itself the long-term raw material supply for the planned stages of expansion.

“Thanks to the planned capacity increases we consider ourselves well positioned to benefit from the growing demand in the international retail markets,” said Frank Asbeck, chairman and CEO of SolarWorld. “Yet, unlike other competitors our development focus is not on quantity alone but mainly on quality.”

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