SMA Solar Technology AG: Strong Growth in Asia Results in Considerable Leap in Earnings in Third Quarter of 2017

Overview January to September 2017
(PresseBox) (Niestetal, )
  • 5.9 GW inverter output sold (Q1–Q3 2016: 5.7 GW)
  • Sales of €592.5 million (Q1–Q3 2016: €708.8 million) and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of €55.3 million (Q1–Q3 2016: €107.9 million)
  • High operating cash flow of €78.7 million (Q1–Q3 2016: €123.6 million)
  • Financial stability thanks to equity ratio of 49.3% (December 31, 2016: 48.3%) and high net cash of €435.8 million (December 31, 2016: €362.0 million)
  • As of October 31, 2017, order backlog increases to €761 million, of which €350 million is attributable to the product business
  • Managing Board specifies guidance for fiscal year 2017
From January to September 2017, SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA/FWB: S92) sold PV inverters with a total output of 5.9 GW, thereby surpassing the previous year (Q1–Q3 2016: 5.7 GW). Sales decreased to €592.5 million (Q1–Q3 2016: €708.8 million). The main cause of this was the weak business with central inverters for large-scale PV power plants in North America. The Asian markets recorded extremely positive development with an increase in sales of 43%, and SMA also saw rising sales in the EMEA region. There was significant growth momentum emanating in particular from the storage and service business during the reporting period.

SMA considerably boosted profitability in the third quarter of 2017. The gross margin increased to 25%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) doubled to €26 million. All segments generated positive operating earnings in the third quarter. From January to September 2017, SMA generated EBITDA of €55.3 million (EBITDA margin: 9.3%; Q1–Q3 2016: €107.9 million, 15.2%). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) was €15.6 million (Q1–Q3 2016: €59.4 million) and therefore already at the lower end of the guidance for the year as a whole. Net income was €25.0 million in the reporting period (Q1–Q3 2016: €36.9 million). Earnings per share thus amounted to €0.72 (Q1–Q3 2016: €1.06).

SMA’s business model is not capital intensive. As a result, SMA generated high operating cash flow of €78.7 million in the reporting period (Q1–Q3 2016: €123.6 million) and further increased its high liquidity reserve. Net cash rose to €435.8 million (December 31, 2016: €362.0 million). The equity ratio slightly increased to 49.3% (December 31, 2016: 48.3%). As a result, SMA still has a highly solid balance-sheet structure.

“To date, the fiscal year has gone better for SMA than we had expected at the start of the year,” said SMA CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon. “We have once more shown that we are good at adapting to the quickly changing market conditions. Thanks to our international presence and our new products, we have increased the product-related order backlog by 25% to €350 million since the end of the first half of 2017. We expect strong end-of-year business and are confident about achieving our objective for the year. However, due to a supply shortage of critical components we will probably come in at the lower end of the sales guidance. With Strategy 2020, we are going one step further. As an energy service provider, we want to benefit from the digitization of the energy industry in the future. Therefore, SMA will invest in platforms to connect energy producers with energy consumers and create network effects. The PV inverter remains our core area of expertise because it is the ideal sensor for valuable energy data.”

The SMA Managing Board specifies its guidance for the 2017 fiscal year. The guidance now forecasts sales of more than €900 million and unchanged EBITDA of between €85 million and €100 million. Net cash is expected to rise to more than €450 million thanks to high operating cash flow.

You can find the quarterly statement for January to September 2017 at www.SMA.de/IR/FinancialReports.

Disclaimer:
This press release serves only as information and does not constitute an offer or invitation to subscribe for, acquire, hold or sell any securities of SMA Solar Technology AG (the “Company”) or any present or future subsidiary of the Company (together with the Company, the “SMA Group”) nor should it form the basis of, or be relied upon in connection with, any contract to purchase or subscribe for any securities in the Company or any member of the SMA Group or commitment whatsoever. Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States of America absent registration or an exemption from registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

This press release can contain future-oriented statements. Future-oriented statements are statements which do not describe facts of the past. They also include statements about our assumptions and expectations. These statements are based on plans, estimations and forecasts which the Managing Board of SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA or company) has available at this time. Future-oriented statements are therefore only valid on the day on which they are made. Future-oriented statements by nature contain risks and elements of uncertainty. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors can lead to considerable differences between the actual results, the financial position, the development or the performance of the corporation and the estimates given here. These factors include those which SMA has discussed in published reports. These reports are available on the SMA website at www.SMA.de. The company accepts no obligation whatsoever to update these future-oriented statements or to adjust them to future events or developments.

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SMA Solar Technology AG
Sonnenallee 1
D-34266 Niestetal
Susanne Henkel
SMA Solar Technology AG
Manager Corporate Press
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