Trina Solar doubled shipments in 2009 but revenue flat with 2008

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Full year financial figures from Trina Solar highlight the price declines seen by one of the major China-based PV manufacturers. Although solar module shipments were approximately 399MW in 2009, virtually double (98.5% growth) 2008 shipments of 201.0 MW, revenue remained flat (1.6% higher) with the previous year at US$845.1 million. However, module shipments and capacity expansion will double again in 2010. Trina Solar remains nearly 100% allocated even with planned capacity expansions in 2010.

“Our increased brand recognition and ongoing commitment to improving customer support in key areas resulted in the near doubling of our shipment volumes and a year-on-year revenue increase in 2009,” commented Mr. Jifan Gao, Chairman and CEO of Trina Solar. “Although significant ASP declines were felt across the industry, due to effective management and our strong execution capability, we achieved consistently healthy and expanding margins by streamlining our manufacturing processes, enhancing our supply chain, and implementing innovative technologies that improved our manufacturing efficiency.”

Trina Solar executives noted in a conference call with financial analyst that capital spending would be in the range of US$200 to US$280 million in an effort to meet demand. The company expects to expand its annualized cell and module production capacity to between 850MW and 950MW by the end of the third quarter. Capacity expansion in 2009 reached 600MW for each of solar cell and module production and 500MW for each of ingot and wafer production.

Shipments for 2010 are expected to be between 750 and 800MW with approximately 350 to 400MW shipped in the first half of the year.

Solar module shipments in the fourth quarter were approximately 164MW, compared to guidance of 145MW to 165MW, representing an increase of 33.5% sequentially and 184.3% Year-on-Year.

Executives noted in the conference call that non-silicon manufacturing costs are expected to decline to US$0.70 per watt (blended mono and multicrystalline) in 2010, down from US$0.78 in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Module prices are expected to drop a further 5 to 10% in the first quarter. Module ASP’s are expected to drop between to 15% to 20% in 2010.

Trina Solar claimed that it had been growing market share in 2009 and expects further market share gains in 2010. In 2008, the company claimed a 3.5% market share, which it said had nearly doubled to 6.5% in 2009. In 2010, the company expects a market share of between 8.5% and 9%.

For the first quarter of 2010, Trina Solar said it expected module shipments to be between a 180 and 190MW, up from 164MW in the fourth quarter.

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