Trina Solar surpasses 1GW quarterly module shipment milestone

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Major PV manufacturer, Trina Solar, has reported third quarter module shipments of 1,063.8MW, exceeding the 1GW quarterly module shipment milestone and an increase of 12.8% from the previous quarter. However, Trina Solar lowered full-year shipment guidance on lower PV project completions.

The company reported net revenue of US$616.8 million, an increase of 18.8% from the second quarter of 2014. Gross profit was US$102.8 million, an increase of 28.1% from the second quarter of 2014, and gross margin was 16.7%, compared to 15.4% in the second quarter of 2014. Operating income was US$35.6 million, an increase of 127.1% from the second quarter of 2014.

Trina Solar noted that the sequential increase in gross margin was the result of a sales mix change with higher shipments to Japan but lower shipments to the US. Also the company noted that it had reduced in-house manufacturing costs in the quarter as a result of greater economies of scale and improvements in operation efficiency.

Module shipments consisted of 936.8MW of external shipments and 127MW of shipments to its downstream PV power projects, compared to total shipments of 943.3MW in the second quarter of 2014 and 774.6MW in the third quarter of 2013.

“Both our module and downstream project businesses delivered good results in the third quarter of 2014, demonstrating our commitment to consistent revenue and profit growth for our core businesses,” said Jifan Gao, chairman and chief executive of Trina Solar. “Despite foreign exchange fluctuations and weaker demand in Europe, we continue to meet or exceed our financial and performance targets. Particularly, gross margin significantly exceeded management guidance. In the third quarter, we strengthened the competitive advantages of our module business with our efforts to reduce module manufacturing costs and our emphasis on technology breakthroughs generating positive results. We continue to leverage the synergies between our module and downstream business units and expect the resulting positive momentum to continue through the rest of this year and into next year.”

Manufacturing update

Trina Solar said that it had annualised in-house ingot and wafer production capacity of 2.0GW and 1.6GW respectively, and PV cell and module capacity of approximately 2.9GW and 3.6GW respectively at the end of the third quarter of 2014.

However, annualised in-house ingot production capacity is expected to reach 2.2GW. Wafer capacity is expected to be 1.7GW, PV cell capacity is expected to be approximately 3.0GW, and module capacity is expected to reach approximately 3.8GW by year-end. 

Guidance

Trina Solar said it expected to complete between 330MW and 360MW of downstream solar projects by the end of 2014, compared to its original guidance of 400MW to 500MW of project completions. The company noted that the decrease was due to the cancellation of a 130MW project in Inner Mongolia after the company had conducted an analysis on the project's financial return. Trina said Chinese government policy changes had impacted on its project pipeline growth, though it was unclear what changes this referred to.

As a result Trina Solar lowered full-year module shipment growth to be in range of 3.61GW to 3.66GW, compared to the previous quarter’s full-year shipment guidance of 3.6GW to 3.8GW, which was exactly the same as that of Yingli Green.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, the company expects to ship between 1,045MW and 1,095MW of PV modules, of which 40MW to 60MW would be shipped to its downstream PV projects. The company expects its blended gross margin for the fourth quarter of 2014 to be between 14.5% to 15.5%. 

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