Trina cuts project completion guidance as Q1 profits soar

Trina Solar claimed a solid first quarter after almost doubling its net profit – but cut by up to half the capacity of PV plants it expects to finish building this year.

Trina – the world’s largest supplier of modules by shipments last year – delivered a net profit of $26.6m in the January to June period, a 91% increase on the first quarter of 2015. Revenues were 46% up at $817m.

Module shipments were 1.42GW, a 38.7% year-on-year increase that Trina said was down to increased demand from the US, China and India. The company said it doubled shipments to Europe compared to the fourth quarter of 2015 after withdrawing from the EU's minimum price undertakings agreement at the end of last year.

The company maintained its full-year guidance for module shipments at between 6.3GW and 6.55MW.

But Trina said it now expects to connect 400MW-500MW of projects to the grid this year, down from an earlier estimate of 750MW-850MW, including up to 20% from distributed generation capacity in China. The company said that was because of "low visibility on installation targets in China this year".

Trina had stressed the growing profile of its downstream business as recently as March this year while discussing its annual results, hoping to build on the 686MW it brought online in 2015.

Trina ended the quarter with 967MW of downstream projects in operation, 921MW of it in China.

Trina CEO Jifan Gao said: "This quarter was a good start to the year. We posted strong year-over-year growth in major financial and operational metrics.”