SolarWorld to expand module production to 1.4GW in 2011

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Integrated PV module manufacturer SolarWorld will expand module production to 1.4GW in 2011, up from 940MW reached in 2010. SolarWorld is targeting an increase in module shipments of more than 30% this year with emphasis on overseas business. The company also plans to boost wafer production to 1,250MW, cell production to 800MW, and module production to 1,400MW.

SolarWorld said that it could double its sales in the U.S. in 2011 due to the logistical advantages of local production and established sales and distribution networks. Overall, the company is targeting 75% of sales to come from outside Germany over the next two years.

“We will do everything in our power to reduce our costs and to strengthen our quality brand. We will develop new storage technologies for the self-consumption of solar power. With these technologies, we will further strengthen our good market position,” commented CEO Frank Asbeck.

SolarWorld posted sales of €1,304.7 million for 2010, up 28.8% from the previous year. Groupwide earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) grew by 26.1% to €192.8 million, compared to €152.8 million in 2009. EBIT margin amounted to 14.8%, slightly below the 2009 level of 15.1%, as ASP declines continued. Consolidated profits increased to €87.3 million, up 48%.

SolarWorld also highlighted that its minimum target for internal cost reduction in 2011 would be between 8% and 9%.

“The year 2010 was turbulent. Our sales developed vigorously in the international solar markets and, above all in the second half of the year, shifted from our core market, Germany, to other European markets and the United States,” added Asbeck.  “We aligned ourselves internationally at a very early point in time and can therefore flexibly use developments in individual markets for our purposes by simply shifting sales volumes.”

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