Trina Solar sets new 1.23GW module shipment record in Q2; guides 5GW for year

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Updated: Leading global PV manufacturer Trina Solar has reported second quarter 2015 shipments of 1.23GW, exceeding guidance and setting a new quarterly record as well as achieving four consecutive quarters of shipments exceeding 1GW, the first PV manufacturer to do so. 

Trina Solar reported second quarter total module shipments of 1,231.6MW, consisting of 1,000.7MW of external shipments and 230.9MW of shipments to its downstream PV power projects, an increase of 20.0% sequentially and 30.6% year over year.

The company noted that it its downstream project business grid connected 121.3MW of PV power projects in the quarter, compared to guidance of 65MW to 70MW.

Revenue was US$722.9 million, an increase of 29.5% from the prior quarter. Gross margin was 20.0%, compared with 18.0% in the first quarter of 2015.

Trina Solar noted that the sequential and year-over-year increases in revenues and shipments were primarily driven by growing demand from China, the US and emerging markets. 

The company has shipped around 525MW to the US in the first half of the year.

However, sales and shipments declined in Europe and Japan due to seasonally lower demand in the second quarter and reduced feed-in-tariffs, according to the company.

Gross profit was US$144.9 million, compared with US$100.3 million in the first quarter of 2015.

“We achieved our second straight quarter of record results and our strongest quarter ever for both upstream and downstream in almost all financial and operating metrics,” said Jifan Gao, chairman and CEO of Trina Solar. “We not only beat the high end of our guidance with record module shipments of 1.23GW and project connections of 121.3MW, we also experienced strong top-line and bottom-line growth and improved fundamentals while focusing on profitable growth. We achieved this result with a combination of cost reductions through continued improvements in supply chain management, technological development and strategic deployment of our resources in promising and fast-growing markets.” 

Trina Solar also revised shipment guidance for the full year upwards based on strong demand and visibility into the second half of the year. 

The company said it expected full-year module shipment guidance of 4.9GW to 5.1GW, up from previous guidance of 4.4GW to 4.6GW, which would be an industry high and cement its number one industry ranking by shipments for a second consecutive year.

Guidance for the third quarter of 2015 included module shipments in the range of 1,450MW to 1,500MW and 180MW to 200MW of PV projects grid connected.

Asset lite manufacturing

Management noted in its earnings call that it was further tapping into other tier-1 and tier-2 manufacturer’s to meet PV module demand and limit capital expenditure.

The company expects to exit the year with increased capacity of 200MW of ingot production, totalling 2.5GW. Solar cell capacity is expected to increase by 300MW to 3.5GW and PV module capacity expanded a further 400MW in the second half of the year to reach a total of 4.8GW, up from 4GW at the beginning of 2015 and 4.4GW at the end of the second quarter of 2015. 

Management also noted in its earnings call that it was expecting to expand PERC cell capacity to 200MW by the end of the year and reach 500MW of PERC capacity in 2016. 

High-efficiency cells and modules would be a key differentiator for Trina Solar as it continues to consolidate its position as the leading PV manufacturer and was seeing increasing demand from customers for high-efficiency products, according to the company.

Trina Solar also reiterated CapEx for capacity expansions would be in the range of US$300 million to US$350 million in 2015. 

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