German solar inverter maker SMA Solar Technology AG (ETR:S92) said Wednesday it has significantly reduced its net and operating loss in the first quarter (Q1) of 2015 in part thanks to a 28% rise in sales.
SMA posted a consolidated net loss of EUR 7.9 million (USD 8.9m) for January-March 2015, compared to a deficit of EUR 16.7 million. Its operating loss, or loss before interest and tax, shrank to EUR 5.4 million from EUR 22.4 million, reaching the upper end of the managing board's earnings forecast for the period.
The company also managed to swing back to positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of EUR 13.4 million from a loss of EUR 2.5 million. “The earnings situation developed better than planned, partly due to the reduction of fixed costs already initiated and to exchange rate effects,” said SMA CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon.
First-quarter sales climbed to EUR 226.3 million from EUR 176.3 million, thus achieving the quarterly target. The company’s international share of sales went up to 88%, compared to 71.1% a year back. In January-March 2015 the key foreign markets were North America, Japan, the UK and Australia. SMA sold 1.7 GW of photovoltaic (PV) inverters, up from 1 GW in the corresponding period of 2014.
SMA’s managing board confirmed its previous guidance for full-year sales of between EUR 730 million and EUR 770 million this year. For the first half of 2015, the company projects an operating loss of EUR 15 million to EUR 25 million and sales of between EUR 400 million and EUR 450 million. It expects to return to operating profit next year.