SMA sells 5.9 GW PV inverters in nine months
From January to September 2017, SMA Solar Technology sold PV inverters with a total output of 5.9 GW, thereby surpassing the previous year (Q1–Q3 2016: 5.7 GW). Sales decreased to €592.5 million (Q1–Q3 2016: €708.8 million). The main cause of this was the weak business with central inverters for large-scale PV power plants in North America. The Asian markets recorded „extremely positive development” with an increase in sales of 43% according to the company. SMA also saw rising sales in the EMEA region. There was significant growth momentum emanating in particular from the storage and service business during the reporting period, the company announced.
Increased gross margin by 25 percent
SMA considerably boosted profitability in the third quarter of 2017. The gross margin increased to 25%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization doubled to €26 million. “To date, the fiscal year has gone better for SMA than we had expected at the start of the year,” said SMA CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon. “We have once more shown that we are good at adapting to the quickly changing market conditions. Thanks to our international presence and our new products, we have increased the product-related order backlog by 25% to €350 million since the end of the first half of 2017. We expect strong end-of-year business and are confident about achieving our objective for the year. However, due to a supply shortage of critical components we will probably come in at the lower end of the sales guidance.
More investments in energy platforms
„With Strategy 2020, we are going one step further. As an energy service provider, we want to benefit from the digitization of the energy industry in the future. Therefore, SMA will invest in platforms to connect energy producers with energy consumers and create network effects. The PV inverter remains our core area of expertise because it is the ideal sensor for valuable energy data“, Urbon said. The SMA Managing Board specifies its guidance for the 2017 fiscal year. The guidance now forecasts sales of more than €900 million. Net cash is expected to rise to more than €450 million thanks to high operating cash flow.
As evidence of its competitiveness SMA has won this year’s Manufacturing Excellence Award (MX Award) in the Process Innovation and Product Innovation categories. (HCN)
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