SolarWorld reports shipment growth in first quarter

SolarWorld AG saw its shipments increase significantly in the first quarter of 2017, according to provisional financial results. The company shipped 382 MW of solar products in the latest quarter, up 10% from both the previous quarter and the same quarter of the past year.

However, the company notes that the global price fall for PV modules registered in the second half of 2016 was responsible for a revenue drop during the quarter. Revenues declined from $230 million in the first quarter of last year to $200 million in the latest quarter. Compared to the previous quarter, however, revenue increased by $24 million.

EBITDA loss for the quarter was $20 million. This compares to a profit of $2 million a year earlier, and to a loss of $45 million in the fourth quarter of last year. Ebit loss also improved from $56 million in the last quarter of 2016 to $31 million in the latest quarter. However, SolarWorld said that these losses are in line with its forecasts.

As of the end of March 2017, the company had an available liquidity of $92 million. In February, SolarWorld announced its intention to exit the multicrystalline silicon business, and to focus on high-efficiency technologies in the future. Furthermore, SolarWorld said it was planning to concentrate all of its German cell production at its facility in Freiberg, and the module manufacturing at the factory in Arnstadt. The plan, the company stated, is progressing according to schedule and is set to be completed by the end of this year.

SolarWorld also maintains manufacturing in the U.S. state of Oregon, as the largest crystalline silicon solar PV maker in the Western Hemisphere.