Overview January to September 2018:
From January to September 2018, SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA/FWB: S92) sold PV inverters with a total output of around 6.2 GW (Q1–Q3 2017: 5.9 GW). Despite the increase in sales volume, sales decreased by 2.9% compared with the same period of the previous year to €575.1 million (Q1–Q3 2017: €592.5 million). From January to September 2018, EBITDA also fell slightly to €50.5 million (EBITDA margin: 8.8%; Q1–Q3 2017: €55.3 million; 9.3%). EBITDA in the reporting period and in the same period of 2017 was influenced by positive one-time effects. The gross margin was 23.1% (Q1–Q3 2017: 21.1%). The decline in sales and results is due in particular to increased price pressure in all markets and regions as a consequence of the market slump in China and the related shift of major PV projects to the coming year.
Net income amounted to €8.5 million from January to September 2018 (Q1–Q3 2017: €25.0 million). Earnings per share thus amounted to €0.24 (Q1–Q3 2017: €0.72). With net cash of €373.2 million (December 31, 2017: €449.7 million) and an equity ratio of 53.3% (December 31, 2017: 50.3%), SMA continues to have an extremely solid balance-sheet structure. In addition, the company has a long-term credit line of €100 million from domestic banks.
“For 2018, we expect a market slump of 26% in China, the world’s largest photovoltaic market,” said SMA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jürgen Reinert. “The PV projects already planned before the unexpected and significant curtailment of the PV expansion targets by the Chinese government have since been implemented. Thus, Chinese manufacturers of modules and inverters are now increasingly pushing into international markets and creating massive price pressure. To benefit from even lower prices in the coming months, project developers and investors are increasingly postponing the construction of large PV projects until next year. Against this background, orders received at SMA lagged significantly behind expectations in recent months. The SMA Managing Board has already reacted to this development. We will adjust our structures to react even more flexibly to the new conditions and to increase SMA’s profitability quickly and sustainably. By the end of this year, the restructuring measures will be agreed upon and adopted with the employee representatives. In addition, we will introduce more new developments into the markets along with our existing cost-optimized products to counter the increasing price pressure in the component business. It is our long-term goal to tap into the higher-margin system and service business on the basis of our comprehensive experience and competence in energy management and the integration of battery storage.”
The SMA Managing Board confirms its sales and earnings guidance for fiscal year 2018 adjusted on September 27, 2018. With sales of between €800 million and €850 million (previously: €900 million and €1,000 million), the guidance anticipates a break-even or slightly negative EBITDA after one-time items from restructuring (previously: between €90 million and €110 million). For the first time, EBITDA includes expenses of more than €10 million for setting up the digital business. The Managing Board estimates that depreciation and amortization will amount to approximately €50 million.
The quarterly statement for January to September 2018 can be found at www.SMA.de/IR/FinancialReports.
The SMA Group with sales of around €900 million in 2017 is a global leader for solar inverters, a key component of all PV plants. SMA offers a wide range of products and solutions that allow for high energy yields for residential and commercial PV systems and large-scale PV power plants. To increase PV self-consumption efficiently, SMA system technology can easily be combined with different battery technologies. Intelligent energy management and digital energy solutions, comprehensive services and operational management of PV power plants round off SMA’s range. The company is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, is represented in 19 countries and has more than 3,000 employees worldwide, including 500 working in Development. SMA’s multi-award-winning technology is protected by more than 1,200 patents and utility models. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and is listed in the SDAX index.
SMA Solar Technology AG
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This press release serves only as information and does not constitute an offer or invitation to subscribe for, acquire, hold or sell any securities of SMA Solar Technology AG (the “Company”) or any present or future subsidiary of the Company (together with the Company, the “SMA Group”) nor should it form the basis of, or be relied upon in connection with, any contract to purchase or subscribe for any securities in the Company or any member of the SMA Group or commitment whatsoever. Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States of America absent registration or an exemption from registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
This press release can contain future-oriented statements. Future-oriented statements are statements which do not describe facts of the past. They also include statements about our assumptions and expectations. These statements are based on plans, estimations and forecasts which the Managing Board of SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA or company) has available at this time. Future-oriented statements are therefore only valid on the day on which they are made. Future-oriented statements by nature contain risks and elements of uncertainty. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors can lead to considerable differences between the actual results, the financial position, the development or the performance of the corporation and the estimates given here. These factors include those which SMA has discussed in published reports. These reports are available on the SMA website at www.SMA.de. The company accepts no obligation whatsoever to update these future-oriented statements or to adjust them to future events or developments.