SolarWorld sees Q1 shipment boost

Shipments at SolarWorld, Europe’s largest PV manufacturer, went up in the first quarter, but revenue fell due to one-off effects a year earlier and a price reduction in the international solar market.

Group-wide shipments surged by 41% to 154MW in the first quarter from the level seen in Q1 2013, the company said in a filing of preliminary financial results.

But in spite of the increase, revenue fell to €99.4m ($138.6m) from €112.2m in the year-earlier period. The reduction can mainly be attributed to one-off effects from the sale of two large-scale projects with high revenues in the first quarter of 2013, SolarWorld says, as well as the general price reduction.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) came in at €137.2m, compared to a €22m loss a year earlier.

The 2014 first quarter Ebitda however already includes preliminary earnings from an initial accounting of production lines and other assets acquired from Bosch Solar Energy AG amounting to €135.6m. Without this one-off item, Ebitda would only have reached €1.6m.

The company also returned to a net profit of €594.2m, compared to a revised net loss of €44.1m in the year-ago quarter, but that profit included €555.7m in income from the restructuring.

The company in the year through March had carried out a restructuring including a debt-to-equity swap in which 55% of SolarWorld’s liabilities were converted into shares.

Previous shareholders in the process lost 95% of their holdings, helping the company to reduce its debt from close to €1bn to €427m at the end of the restructuring.