Canadian Solar back into profit

Canadian Solar returned to profitability during the third quarter, the company says, in another sign that the global PV manufacturing sector is on the verge of a rebound.

The company, which is based in Ontario but boasts one of the largest PV manufacturing footprints in China, says its strong third-quarter performance will drag its full-year net-income into positive territory.

Canadian Solar's net loss reached $11.8m through the first half of the year.

The announcement bodes well for an industry that has suffered several years of eye-watering losses as overcapacity – fuelled by lower-tier Chinese suppliers – led to faster price declines than manufacturers could handle.

But a wave of bankruptcies have left the industry’s fundamentals looking significantly healthier, and the sharp cost reductions for PV seen over the past few years have fed demand globally.

During the second quarter JinkoSolar became the first tier-one Chinese module supplier to return to profitability.

Canadian Solar expects to report a gross margin of 18%-20% during the three-month period ended 30 September – compared to 12.8% during the second quarter – due in large part to the ongoing success of its higher-margin projects business.

In recent weeks Canadian Solar began building a 100MW (AC) PV array in Ontario for Samsung, and nailed down C$104m in loans from Deutsche Bank for other projects in Canada.

Meanwhile, the company’s modules business continues to benefit from expanding global demand, with quarterly shipments now expected at 460MW-480MW – up from earlier guidance of 410MW-430MW.

Canadian Solar is due to publish its third-quarter results on 13 November.