Updated. The PV industry’s largest manufacturer, Yingli Green Energy reported a US$55 million net loss for the first quarter of 2014, compared to a net loss of US$128.2 million in the previous quarter.
The company generated revenue of US$432.2 million, compared to US$613.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Total PV module shipments were 630.8MW in the first quarter of 2014, a 32.9% decline from the previous quarter. The company shipped only 6.1MW of modules for its in-house downstream business in China in the quarter, which was said to have been behind the overall shipment decline due to weakness in the Chinese downstream business. Delayed PV module shipment schedules for projects in Algeria were also said to be behind the shipment decrease.
“I'm pleased with the improvement in our gross margin in the first quarter of 2014, which is attributable to the slight increase in average selling price of PV modules and our on-going efforts on cost reduction, and I have confidence in our ability to drive additional improvement moving forward,” stated Liansheng Miao, chairman and CEO of Yingli Green Energy. “In the first quarter, we witnessed a continued evolution of end demand diversification with exceptional demand from Japan and other emerging markets coupled with steady growth from US and stabilisation in Europe, while module shipments in MW shrunk primarily due to the traditional seasonality and a slightly delay in delivery for projects in Algeria. The proportion of shipments to markets outside China, US and Europe doubled and accounted for 35% of our total shipments in the first quarter of 2014, compared with 16% in the fourth quarter of 2013.”
Yingli Green reported an overall gross profit of US$67.8 million in the first quarter of 2014. Overall gross margin was 15.7%, up from 12.2% in the fourth quarter of 2013. Gross margin for sales of PV modules was 16.8% in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 13.1% in the prior quarter.
The company posted an operating loss of US$20.7 million in the quarter and an operating margin of negative 4.8%, compared to negative 16.0% operating margingin the fourth quarter of 2013.
PV project pipeline update
The company reiterated that it had an approximately 1GW downstream project pipeline across China and plans to deploy between 400MW to 600MW of PV projects in the country by the end of 2014.
Yingli Green noted that in the first quarter it had started the construction of two ground-mount PV projects in Hebei Province, which are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2014.
Construction also began on 110MW of utility-scale projects and 20MW of distributed generation projects located in Hebei, Guangxi and Sichuan province in June, supporting the expectation that the vast majority of PV projects in China would be second-half year loaded.
The company reiterated shipment guidance of 4.0GW to 4.2GW for fiscal year 2014.
Yingli Green noted in its first quarter earnings call that it expected module shipments in the second quarter of 2014 to be in the range of 870MW to 950MW, while gross margins were expected to be between 14-16%.
On a geographical basis, 30% of shipments in the second quarter are expected to be within China, approximately 20% from Americas, around 20% from Europe. Rest of the world is expect to account for around 30% of shipments.