In the first three months of 2012, SolarWorld AG increased its shipments of solar power modules and complete kits in the "Trade" segment. On the German market in particular, the demand for solar modules and system solutions rose due to the unexpectedly early and significant cuts in subsidies. On a groupwide level, the "Trade" shipments increased by 48 percent to 146 (Q1 2011: 99) MW. In the segment "Production Germany," which is largely dominated by the wafer business, the company did not make any significant shipments. Groupwide shipments of wafers and solar modules reached 147 (Q1 2011: 185) MW. In light of the strong business in Germany, the groupwide foreign share of shipments decreased to 45 (Q1 2011: 77) percent.
As a result of the developments in the wafer sector and falling prices in the overall market, the Group's revenue decreased by 26.8 percent to € 170.5 (Q1 2011: 233) million. The consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased by 13.1 percent to € 31.5 (Q1 2011: € 27.9) million. In the first quarter, the consolidated profits totaled € 7.2 (Q1 2011: € 12.5) million.
"In the first quarter of 2012, the international solar industry was under pressure. In Germany, our results were affected by pull-forward effects in the first three months, which were once again triggered by politics," comments Dr.-Ing. E. h. Frank Asbeck, CEO of SolarWorld AG. "In the current market situation, the end customer sector with sales of solar modules and kits is becoming increasingly important. In 2012, we will continue to position ourselves as the best-known brand name provider, in particular in the area of roof-mounted systems. In light of rapidly rising electricity prices, generating your own electricity with a SolarWorld solar power system will become increasingly attractive in future," explains Asbeck.
After the first quarter, the foreign quota of the international Group will rise again. To ensure this, SolarWorld is increasing its sales activities in all export markets around the world. "In addition to further internationalization of SolarWorld, we are focusing on innovations 'Made in Germany' and 'Made in USA.' In future, we will make our production processes even more cost-efficient and attract customers with intelligent and sustainable high-tech for solar power production," resumes Asbeck.