March 30 (Renewables Now) - SMA Solar Technology AG (ETR:S92) saw its net profit more than double to EUR 29.6 million (USD 32m) in 2016 from EUR 14.3 million a year back, with inverter sales reaching 8.2 GW.
The German solar inverter maker today released 2016 results and said a dividend of EUR 0.26 per share for 2016 will be recommended at the Annual General Meeting on May 23. This equals a payout ratio of 31% of net income.
The utility segment of the solar market remained the main earnings driver in the year. The commercial segment also performed well. SMA Solar’s most important markets included North America, Japan, India, Great Britain and Germany. Details on the company's performance are in the table.
|Results in EUR million,
|Inverter output sold
|Operating cash flow||147.5||102.7||N/A|
|Net cash||362||285.6||over 400|
Along with a confirmation of the 2017 forecast released in January, SMA Solar also shared projections for the first quarter of the year. Sales are seen to fall to between EUR 165 million and EUR 175 million, from EUR 248.1 million in the same three months of 2016. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) are to drop to EUR 15 million-18 million from EUR 41.3 million a year ago.
Performance in the first quarter has been hurt by the high pricing pressure in and poor weather conditions in key sales markets such as the US. In contrast, the now concluded sale of SMA Railway Technology GmbH to Chinese railway technology group Beijing Dinghan Technology Co is to positively impact first-quarter results, SMA said in a separate statement Wednesday, announcing the completion of the transaction.
Despite the slow start, CFO Ulrich Hadding expects business to pick up in the next quarters. He says 2017 will undoubtedly be a challenge for the entire photovoltaic (PV) sector.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.08)