German inverter giant SMA Solar Technology AG has reported an 8.1% decline in sales revenue during the first quarter, compared to the figure posted in the same period of last year.
That reverse came despite a similar volume of shipments being made in each of the last two first quarters, with SMA selling inverters with a capacity of 1.8 GW from January to March this year.
Sales revenue fell to €167.8 million during that period, the Hessia-based firm said in its first-quarter update, due to weak project business.
The company reported a net loss of €10.6 million for the quarter, following a €2.8 million profit in the same period last year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came in at €600,000, significantly lower than the €17.5 million seen in the January-to-March period last year. However, sales and EBITDA were in line with previous guidance, the company added.
Sunnier second half
And SMA insisted it remained optimistic for the rest of the year, with new orders across all segments having developed positively in the first quarter. The order backlog at the end of March amounted to more than €233 million and SMA expects significant sales and earnings growth in the second half.
The board maintained its previous full-year guidance of expected turnover of some €800-880 million and EBITDA of €20-50 million.
Chief executive Jürgen Reinert also reported on the progress of the company’s cost-cutting program. “The implementation of our measures, with the aim of reducing the costs of SMA by around €40 million a year, is proceeding according to plan,” said the CEO.
SMA wants to position itself as a system provider of co-ordinated, modular and expandable PV, storage and digital energy solutions for private, commercial and industrial applications.