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SMA Solar posts 14.6% fall in 2018 sales, expects improvement in 2019

Source: SMA Solar Technology

January 24 (Renewables Now) - German inverter maker SMA Solar Technology (ETR:S92) today guided for better financial results in 2019 after posting a loss and weaker sales for 2018.

The company said that, based on preliminary calculations, 2018 sales have decreased to around EUR 761 million (USD 863m) from EUR 891 million, even though it has sold the same amount of photovoltaic (PV) inverters as in 2017 -- about 8.5 GW. The reason for the decline in its top line is price pressure. Regardless of the fall in sales, the figure was at the lower end of the managing board’s forecast.

“Due to the sudden downturn in the photovoltaic market in China, Chinese manufacturers have made increasing inroads into the international markets, creating massive price pressure. As a result, project developers and investors have postponed the construction of PV power plants in anticipation of a further fall in prices,” explained CEO Juergen Reinert. He added that, at the same time, the limited availability of electronic components had impacted business in commercial PV systems, but that situation has since been resolved.

For 2019, the managing board forecasts sales of between EUR 800 million and EUR 880 million, aided by a projected positive market development in Europe and America, as well as the revival of the storage market.

As per the company’s earnings performance, preliminary estimations show that it has turned to a loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of some EUR 67 million for 2018 from earnings of EUR 97.3 million a year back. The result has been impacted by one-time items and provisions for financing planned restructuring measures, but it was still within guidance, the company said. It anticipates positive EBITDA of EUR 20 million to EUR 50 million in 2019.

SMA will publish its consolidated financial statements for 2018 on March 28, 2019.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.134)

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