Centrosolar hope after EU measures

EU anti-dumping measures against Chinese kit could help embattled PV group Centrosolar to “turn the tide” in its journey back to profitability, the Munich-based company said today when presenting a deepening operating loss for the second quarter of 2013.

The European Commission in early August imposed provisional duties on Chinese PV imports as part of an investigation into alleged dumping by Chinese producers. Soon afterwards, the EU signed off on a provisional deal that imposes a price floor and a maximum import volume on Chinese modules.

“Centrosolar believes that the anti-dumping measures adopted by the EU on August 6, 2013 are likely to fundamentally change the game,” the company said in its earnings release.

“Although the minimum prices do not fully compensate for the extent of dumping revealed by the EU Commission, they are nevertheless expected to alleviate substantially the previous pressure on prices,” Centrosolar stressed.

The PV group added, however, that it doesn’t expect the measures to have an immediate effect because inventories imported duty-free into the EU prior to the introduction of the anti-dumping measures still need to be cleared.

“Thereafter, however, Centrosolar expects to enjoy new sales opportunities,” the company said.

Centrosolar’s revenue plunged 39% to €33m ($43.6m) as it says it is still affected by the steep fall of solar module prices.

The low revenue translated into earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of a loss of €4.2m, compared to a €1.2m deficit in the year-earlier quarter. The company’s net loss in the period widened to €6.5m from €5.2m in the second quarter 2012.

Centrosolar lowered its revenue forecast for all of 2013 to between €125m and €150m, from a range of €135m to €150m seen previously.

“With sales still sluggish in the summer, the lower threshold of expectations has been adjusted,” Centrosolar says.

“On the other hand there are substantially improved future prospects for revenue now that the anti-dumping measures have been introduced; this is why the upper expectation threshold has been retained.”