Preliminary estimates from the Managing Board of SMA Solar show sales of about €1.7 billion in 2011 and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of more than €240 million. With this, SMA fully achieved both of its forecast targets as well as the second-best earnings in the company history.
According to SMA solar Managing Board estimates, the company maintained its global market share at last year’s level – 35 percent – in a highly competitive environment.
The SMA solar Managing Board estimates that photovoltaic plants with a presumed capacity of approx. 23 gigawatts were installed worldwide in 2011. “With this, the size of the global market remained nearly unchanged in comparison to 2010. At the same time, demand shifted regionally. Declines in some important photovoltaic markets were compensated by growth in new markets,” explained Pierre-Pascal Urbon, Spokesman of the Managing Board and Chief Financial Officer of SMA Solar Technology AG. “The product mix changed accordingly, and there was increasing demand for larger inverters. Thanks to our broad product range – from Sunny Boy inverters for private photovoltaic plants to Sunny Central inverters for large-scale PV projects – and to our strong international position, we were able to serve the changed demand well.”
In the world’s largest photovoltaic market, Germany, SMA solar successfully maintained its position as market leader and even expanded it slightly. PV plants with a capacity of three gigawatts were constructed here during December 2011 alone. There are many different reasons for the strong growth in new installations. One significant factor is the 15 percent reduction in the feed-in tariff as of January 1, 2012. Added to this was an increased sell-off at year’s end among wholesalers in order to minimize the risk of depreciation of their inventories. The advantageous interest rate level, low system prices and unusually mild weather also promoted the additional installation.
“We also assume that many photovoltaic plants were only commissioned commercially; the installed plants were therefore registered with the Federal Network Agency without inverters. We already see this reflected in our current business development,” Urbon said. According to preliminary estimates by the Managing Board, SMA’s sales in the fiscal year 2011 amounted to around €1.7 billion. Export sales are anticipated to have increased by approx. 55 % (2010: 45 %). Project business made up about 25 % of the Group’s sales, according to initial estimates (2010: 18 %). SMA solar will continue its successful internationalization strategy in 2012 and will establish foreign companies in South America and Africa.
The Managing Board of SMA solar anticipates slight growth in global demand for photovoltaic plants during the current fiscal year, but cannot exclude the possibility of a slight decline. “We see positive growth in 2012 in the United States, Japan and India. A reliable forecast for the global market is not currently possible, however, due to numerous changes in important markets and uncertainty caused by the current euro and financial crisis,” Urbon emphasized. “We can therefore provide no sales and earnings forecast at this point for the current fiscal year.”
The SMA solar Managing Board is confident that thanks to the company’s high flexibility, continuous investment in research and development, innovative product portfolio and strong international position, SMA solar is well positioned to react quickly to all market developments and to profit from the outstanding long-term potential for growth in the promising field of photovoltaics technology.