SolarWorld has posted impressive Q1 financial figures, with shipments, revenue and earnings before interest (EBIT) all rising. These numbers are in stark contrast to those of many of SolarWorld’s peers and have been attributed to its strong performance in North America.
Underpinning SolarWorld’s success were significant year-on-year increases in wafer and module shipments – 185MW compared with 139MW in Q1 2010 – and healthy foreign sales. Both contributed towards consolidated revenue rising by €7.4 million (US$10.5 million) to €233 million (US$332 million).
One of the few black spots came in the form of the company’s Q1 EBIT margin, which marginally decreased to 11.3% from 11.5% in Q1 2010. However, overall earnings across the group before interest rose to €26.3 million (US$37.5 million) this year in comparison to the €25.9 million (US$36.9 million) seen last year. Meanwhile, consolidated net income increased in the first three months of the year by €7.2 million (US$10.3 million) to reach the €12.5 million (US$17.8 million) mark.
“We got off to a good start into the international solar business 2011. In the first two months of the year, it is above all the winter weather in Germany that somewhat delays our sales. However, we can compensate for this with our strong foreign markets such as the United States. Since March, the demand for our products has also picked up again in Germany,” SolarWorld's chairman and CEO, Frank Asbeck, said.
SolarWorld has also revealed it will inaugurate its new module production facility, named Solar Factory III, at its German production site in Freiberg on May 20. With the commissioning of the new factory, SolarWorld will increase its module capacity in Germany to 600MW and create an additional 250 jobs in the process.