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centrotherm photovoltaics looks back on successful 2010 financial year

photovoltaik-guide.de / Michael Ziegler |Donnerstag, 24. März 2011

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Blaubeuren, March 23, 2011, With today's presentation of its 2010 annual report, centrotherm photovoltaics AG confirms its preliminary figures published on February 23, and looks back on the best financial year in the company's history. The globally leading technology and equipment supplier to the photovoltaics sector is consequently planning the payment of its first dividend to shareholders. The Management and Supervisory boards of the Southern German company will therefore propose to the Shareholders' General Meeting to be held on August 18, 2011 that it distributes a dividend of EUR 0.50 for the past financial year, plus a one-off bonus dividend of EUR 0.20 per share.

"In view of the past financial year's good earnings trend, we would like our shareholders to participate in our company's success through a dividend payment", was how Robert M. Hartung, CEO and Management Board Chairman of centrotherm photovoltaics AG, commented on today's publication of its 2010 annual report. "We regard our proposal as part of a long-term dividend policy. This means that we are also planning to distribute a dividend for the coming financial years depending on our corporate development."

Successful 2010 financial year

centrotherm photovoltaics AG continued on its growth path in 2010. New records were achieved in terms of the most important key indicators: revenue was up by 22.6 percent to EUR 624.2 million (2009: EUR 509.1 million), with the export share reaching 94.7 percent (2009: 90.7 percent). Total operating performance grew to EUR 681.2 million (2009: EUR 536.0 million). Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were up from EUR 58.6 million to EUR 101.3 million. This represents a 16.2 percent EBITDA margin on revenue (2009: 11.5 percent).

Operating earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) doubled to EUR 75.4 million (2009: EUR 37.2 million), equivalent to a 12.1 percent EBIT margin (2009: 7.3 percent). centrotherm photovoltaics generated total consolidated net income of EUR 51.1 million (2009: EUR 28.5 million). 28.0 percent was achieved in terms of return on capital employed (ROCE), compared with 16.6 percent in 2009. The equity ratio rose to 49.2 percent (2009: 46.5 percent). "The figures show that our management and employees were excellently prepared to meet the solar sector's high level of demand for our technology and state-of-the-art production systems", noted Dr. Thomas Riegler, CFO of centrotherm photovoltaics AG. The Group employed a total of 1,448 staff as of the end of 2010 (2009: 1,131).

Segment trends

The centrotherm photovoltaics Group's business success in 2010 is based mainly on its Solar Cell & Module segment, which achieved record earnings last year: revenue leapt by 68.6 percent to reach EUR 404.5 million (2009: EUR 239.9 million). This represents a 64.8 percent share of total revenue. The segment's operating earnings (EBIT) were up almost fivefold to EUR 91.6 million (2009: EUR 18.7 million), corresponding to a 22.6 percent EBIT margin (2009: 7.8 percent). This very gratifying trend mainly reflected strong demand, and high shipment volumes for our single equipment items. We delivered a total of 435 single equipment items in 2010. One R&D highlight in this segment were highefficiency solar cells with certified 19.1 percent efficiency, which was achieved with our new centaurus rear side technology.

In the Silicon & Wafer segment, revenue declined in line with budget to EUR 201.7 million (2009: EUR 218.7 million), due to the high degree of project realization and a comparatively low shipment level. This revenue represents 32.3 percent of Group total revenue. The segment's operating earnings (EBIT) reached EUR 21.2 million (2009: EUR 30.4 million), reflecting a 10.5 percent EBIT margin (2009: 13.9 percent). Particularly outstanding events in this segment included the successful commissioning and production of first silicon at polysilicon factories in Taiwan, China and Europe, and the signing of an agreement to construct a silicon factory in Qatar comprising an order volume of around EUR 150 million.

In the Thin Film Module segment, centrotherm photovoltaics continues to concentrate on realizing its first thin film project in Taiwan. The intensive project work, and delays, as well as the continuous further development of our systems and technologies, continued to be evident in its revenue and earnings trends: total revenue of EUR 18.0 million was achieved (2009: EUR 50.6 million) – and predominantly by the wholly-owned FHR subsidiary. Among other products, FHR manufactures foil coating systems for the production of flexible solar cells and organic solar cells, which offer tremendous future potential throughout the solar energy sector. EBIT for the Thin Film Module segment amounted to minus EUR 37.4 million (2009: minus EUR 11.9 million).

Despite adjustments to the order book, the total order book position grew to EUR 843.8 million as of the year-end (2009: EUR 797.4 million). Due to a very robust trend in new orders received of EUR 1,049.8 million in the 2010 financial year, new orders breached the EUR 1 billion mark for the first time – thereby setting a new record in the company's history.

2011 outlook

As already announced at the end of February, centrotherm photovoltaics anticipates that revenue will continue to grow to between EUR 690 million and EUR 710 million in the 2011 financial year due to the pleasing new order trend, accompanied by a low, double-digit EBIT margin. "We have established a globally outstanding market position in the photovoltaic sector with our technology and production systems. We aim to exploit our business success to continue to invest heavily in R&D in order to thereby extend this technology lead, and to enable our shareholders to participate in the company's success at the same time. As a consequence, we see ourselves as excellently equipped for 2011 and the upcoming years", commented Robert M. Hartung, CEO and Management Board Chairman of centrotherm photovoltaic AG.

Source:  centrotherm photovoltaics AG

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