German inverter maker SMA Solar Technology (ETR:S92) today said business developed positively in the first quarter of 2018 and guided for sales of EUR 180 million (USD 223m) and EBITDA of EUR 18 million in the period.
The figures are up on the first quarter of 2017, when sales totalled EUR 173.2 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were EUR 15.9 million.
The company also confirmed its sales and earnings outlook for 2018 that was provided when reporting preliminary 2017 results in January. Sales are seen at between EUR 900 million and EUR 1 billion, and EBITDA at EUR 90 million to EUR 110 million.
In 2017, sales fell to EUR 891 million from EUR 946.7 million in 2016, impacted by a drop in demand for utility-scale solar power plants in the US. The sales fall is in spite of positive performance in Asia and Europe, and inverter output sold reaching record 8.5 GW, up from 8.2 GW in 2016. "Our international positioning has proven its worth, just as expansion in the storage system and service business has," said chief executive Pierre-Pascal Urbon.
EBITDA was down to EUR 97.3 million from EUR 141.5 million, but at the high end of the company's guidance. Net profit rose slightly to EUR 30.1 million from EUR 29.6 million.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.239)
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