SOLON SE presents figures for third quarter of 2009(PresseBox) (Berlin, )
- Group revenue at EUR218.4 million
- EBIT declines to a loss of EUR87.0 million
- Adjusted net income deteriorates to a net loss of EUR80.4 million
- Positive operating cash flow of EUR30.1 million
SOLON SE, Berlin, (ISIN DE0007471195) today published its interim report as of September 30, 2009. The first nine months of the year were characterized by significantly lower demand for solar technology year on year and a sharp drop in sales prices, which persisted into the third quarter. Toward the end of the third quarter, the solar technology market began to revive thanks to improved returns on investment for customers. Demand for solar installations is picking up among German customers in particular. As a result, SOLON again increased Group sales in comparison with the first two quarters of 2009.
In addition, SOLON SE acquired major new contracts in its system technology business. Due to the required lead time, however, these transactions will not have much effect on sales or earnings prior to 2010. This means that this segment's contribution to overall Group performance will continue to lag behind expectations for the time being.
The market situation described above is reflected in the financial figures presented by SOLON SE: Group sales fell by 66% year on year to EUR218.4 million (first nine months of 2008: EUR637.0 million). Total operating performance declined by 68% in the first nine months of the year to EUR215.7 million (first nine months of 2008: EUR667.3 million). The share of Group sales generated in the Components segment during the period under review amounted to 65%, while the System Technology segment contributed 35%. Approximately 50% of Group sales were achieved in Germany in the first nine months of 2009. Between January and September 2009, SOLON manufactured photovoltaic installations with an aggregated output of 75 MWp, 36 MWp thereof in the third quarter.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dropped to a loss of EUR72.2 million (first nine months of 2008: income of EUR58.5 million). Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell to a loss of EUR87.7 million (first nine months of 2008: income of EUR49.4 million). Both of these figures include nonrecurring impairment losses of EUR36 million recognized on inventories due to the sharp decline in sales prices since the start of the year.
Net income after minority interests amounted to a net loss of EUR146.7 million (first nine months of 2008: net income of EUR27.3 million). Before taking into account the nonrecurring impairment losses on investments, most of which were recognized in the second quarter, the adjusted net income after minority interests amounted to a net loss of EUR80.4 million. Adjusted earnings per share amounted to a loss of EUR6.42 (first nine months of 2008: earnings of EUR2.18).
While the operating business remained behind expectations, improvements were seen in the balance sheet and in cash flows. Working capital was again reduced thanks to the reduction of receivables from business in Spain and Italy as well as a decline in inventory levels. In the first nine months of 2008, the Company generated a positive operating cash inflow of EUR30.1 million (first nine months of 2008: net cash outflow of EUR31.7 million).
Net debt was reduced slightly to EUR384.2 million as of the reporting date. SOLON SE is currently negotiating with banks on restructuring mediumterm Group financing. The negotiations are well advanced and are expected to be completed by the end of this year.
The restructuring program initiated in the second quarter, which includes strategic measures along with projects to improve the Company's cost structure, is already showing initial successes, as can be seen in the improved liquidity situation, for instance.
Based on the current business trend, the Management Board expects sales for the current fourth quarter to continue rising steadily, as was the case in the preceding quarters of 2009. However, SOLON will close fiscal 2009 with a substantial operating loss. In 2010, global demand for solar technology should pick up considerably, while sales prices should soften slower than in 2009. The SOLON Group's goal for 2010 is to return to doubledigit sales growth and a breakeven operating result.
The complete interim report of SOLON SE for the nine months ended September 30, 2009 is available for download from the Company's website at www.solon.com.