SunPower swings to $108.4m profit

Solar manufacturer SunPower reported a $108.4m profit, or 73 cents a share, in the third quarter on surging demand in North America and Japan, and improving sales in Europe.

The company posted a $48.5m loss, or 41 cents, a year earlier and a $19.6m profit in the second quarter. Gross margins more than doubled to 29.4% from 12.4%. Output rose to 313MW to 227MW.

Third quarter sales were $657.1m, up from $648.9m a year earlier and $576.5m in the second quarter.

“Looking forward, we are well positioned for long-term profitability to continue to monetize our global project pipeline, expand our footprint in the distributed generation market and strategically manage our cash," chief financial officer Chuck Boynton says.

SunPower intends to expand solar cell manufacturing capacity by more than 25% to more than 1.8GW when completed in early 2015.

The company’s North American commercial project pipeline now exceeds $1bn.