Highlights of the first half of 2012: • 4.0 gigawatts of inverter output sold (Q1–Q2 2011: 3.1GW) • Sales increased by 16.6% to €833.7 million (Q1–Q2 2011: €715.0 million) • Gross foreign sales increased by 12.1% to €463.9 million (Q1–Q2 2011: €413.8 million) • Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of €83.7 million (Q1–Q2 2011: €103.7 million) • Financial independence – net liquidity of €387.7 million (Dec. 31, 2011: €473.3 million) • Managing Board raises lower end of sales and earnings forecast for the overall year 2012
Following a positive start to the fiscal year 2012, SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA/FWB: S92) continued its growth in the second quarter. During the first half of the year, the company sold PV inverters with a total output of 4.0 gigawatts (Q1–Q2 2011: 3.1 GW) and increased sales compared to the same period last year by 16.6% to €833.7 million (Q1–Q2 2011: €715.0 million). Thanks to its international presence in 21 countries, SMA succeeded in further expanding its sales abroad. Gross foreign sales rose by 12.1% compared to the same period last year to €463.9 million (Q1–Q2 2011: €413.8 million). This corresponds to an export ratio of 53.7% (Q1–Q2 2011: 56.3%).
In the first half of 2012, the development of demand was decisively characterised by the clear changes in subsidy conditions in important European photovoltaic markets. This resulted in demand for inverters for PV rooftop systems being brought forward. In addition, catch-up effects, resulting, for example, from a high level of commercial commissioning in Germany in the fourth quarter of 2011, had a positive influence on demand in this area. These changes have also contributed to the good development of project business with Sunny Central inverters. For example, between January and June 2012, numerous projects were carried out in North America that still benefited from the subsidy conditions that were effective last year. In Germany, the expiry of the periods for the adjustment of subsidies for ground-based PV plants at the end of June and the end of September had correspondingly positive effects.
“In the first half of the year, SMA achieved or even exceeded its own expectations in many areas despite a difficult market environment. Particularly, the policy of internationalisation, adopted by us at an early stage, resulted in a positive development of our international business. At the same time, however, we also again demonstrated our innovative strength during the first half of the year. With over 300 patents granted worldwide and a similar number of ongoing patent applications, SMA is more innovative than ever before,” explained Pierre-Pascal Urbon, Speaker of the Managing Board and Chief Financial Officer for SMA.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the first half of 2012 was €83.7 million (Q1–Q2 2011: €103.7 million). The EBIT margin of 10.0% is at the upper end of the earnings forecast (Q1-Q2 2011: 14.5%). Consolidated net profit was €59.4 million (Q1–Q2 2011: €73.5 million). In the first half of the year, SMA strongly increased gross cash flow to €104.3 million compared to the previous year (Q1–Q2 2011: €65.3 million). The increase of almost 60% again underlines SMA’s ability to generate cash even in a challenging competitive situation. With an equity ratio of 58.1% and net liquidity of €387.7 million (Dec. 31, 2011: €473.3 million), SMA continues to have a very solid balance-sheet structure and can finance its further development from own resources.
“Capital and financial markets are currently dominated by great uncertainty. Particularly against this background, SMA’s financial independence is an enormous competitive advantage. To ensure that this also remains the case in future, the Managing Board has prepared all employees for the changed framework conditions. We are therefore confident that SMA will emerge strengthened from the industry’s changes. We are a highly motivated team attentively working on the implementation of a decentralised energy supply,” comments Pierre-Pascal Urbon.
On the basis of the positive performance in the first half of the year, the Managing Board of SMA is raising the lower end of the sales and earnings guidance for the year 2012 that was first published in March. The amended guidance forecasts an operating profit of €100 million to €150 million on sales of €1.3 billion to €1.5 billion (previously: sales of €1.2 to €1.5 billion; EBIT: €60 million to €150 million). This equates to an EBIT margin of 8% to 10% (previously: 5% to 10%).
The quarterly financial report for January to June 2012 is available online at www.SMA.de/IR/FinancialReports. In addition, video statements by the Speaker of the Managing Board can be found on the blog www.SMA-Sunny.com.