SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA) reported a positive business performance in the first half of 2016, yet the price pressure was still strong. As a result, SMA decided to end manufacturing of factories in Denver, USA and Cape Town, South Africa.
SMA’s sales increased by 15.1% YoY to €494.1 million, consolidated earnings increased to €19.4 million. The financial growth was driven by improvement of large-scale PV power plants. The segment for commercial PV systems (Commercial) also reported a positive performance. Thanks to its international positioning, SMA is continuing to benefit from the growth on foreign PV markets. The international share of sales hit 91.1% in 1H16.
The PV inverter output increased by 22.9% YoY to 3.9GW, so the production cost was reduced in the first six month of 2016. 1H16’s EBIT was €39.3 million, up from €-14.9 million in 1H15. EBITDA improved to €73.1 million, compared to €21.3 million in 1H15.
However, the price pressure in the solar industry has been unexpectedly strong in recent weeks, driving SMA decided to end production in its Denver and Cape Town plants for further cost reduction.
“This step is unavoidable if we are to lastingly counteract the persistent price pressure and to achieve better production capacity utilization in China and Germany in the future,” said SMA’s CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon. “The American market remains highly important to us. We will be maintaining our presence at the Californian location in Rocklin with Sales and Service moving ahead as well, and we will further boost our leading position on the American market.”
SMA will also upgrade its inverter solutions such as presenting a compact system solution with integrated energy management for the rapidly growing Commercial market segment to the public.