Berlin, 31. March 2010 - SOLON SE, Berlin, Germany today presented its 2009 Annual Report, confirming the preliminary financial results for the previous fiscal year which were already released on February 23. The Company simultaneously reported that it had come to a basic agreement with the banks regarding restructuring of the Group's financing.
Worldwide demand for solar technology stagnated in 2009, accompanied by a drastic decline in prices for solar technology. This is reflected in the performance of the Solon Group. Group revenues reached 354.4 million Euro, reflecting a 57% decline from the extraordinarily robust performance of ?815.1 million in 2008. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) saw a loss of 199.0 million Euro (2008: profit of 57.7 million Euro). Net income after minority interests amounted to -271.6 million Euro (2008: 32.7 million Euro). Earnings per share declined to -21.68 Euro (2008: 2.61 Euro).
One-time effects had a severely negative impact on EBIT and net income of 128.2 million Euro. These one-time effects resulted from impairment losses on participations, at-equity investments and loans, from the discontinuation of the Estelux project activities and from the goodwill impairment loss. Net income after minority interests adjusted for one-time effects amounted to -143.4 million Euro (2008: 30.9 million Euro). This corresponds to adjusted earnings per share of -11.45 Euro (2008: 2.46 Euro).
In fiscal year 2009, SOLON generated a positive operating cash flow of 93.1 million Euro. The Components segment accounted for 72% of Group revenue in 2009 (2008: 45%); the System Technology segment's percentage declined to 28% (2008: 55%). Approximately 52% of Group revenue was generated in Germany in 2009. Photovoltaic systems with a total capacity of 132 MWp were produced in 2009, a 25% decline from the previous year (2008: 176 MWp).
The SOLON Group maintains five production sites in Germany, Austria, Italy and the US. At year-end, the number of employees at all Group locations was 901. Agreement was recently achieved concerning all major conditions in the negotiations with the banks for restructuring the medium-term Group financing. The planned syndicated loan under the lead management of Deutsche Bank AG includes commitments for cash credit facilities and facilities by way of bank guarantees totaling 275 million Euro. Also included is a combined 80% default guarantee from the German federal government and the federal states of Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on a partial loan amount of 146 million Euro. "This indicates the willingness of the banks to make a significant scope of unguaranteed lending available to SOLON SE," commented Simone Prüfer, CFO. The agreement, which includes the participation of seven German banks in addition to the lead manager, will expire in late 2011.
For the current fiscal year, the Management Board presumes that global demand for solar technology will increase robustly while selling prices will decline more slowly than in the previous year. Now that Group funding has been secured, the Company's position with respect to suppliers and customers has significantly improved. This improvement constitutes the basis for the intended return to revenue growth in the double-digit percentage range and achievement of a break-even operating result.
Source: SOLON SE