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Results 2012: SMA Solar Technology AG Performs Well Despite a Difficult Market Environment
- 7.2 gigawatts of inverter output sold (2011: 7.6 GW)
- Sales at € 1.5 billion, near higher end of management guidance (2011: € 1.7 billion)
- Export ratio rose to 56.3% (2011: 53.6%)
- Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of € 102 million (2011: € 240.3 million)
- Financial independence - net liquidity of € 446.3 million (Dec. 31, 2011: € 473.3 million)
- Proposed dividend of € 0.60 per share
- Managing Board confirms sales and earnings guidance for the fiscal year 2013
SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA/FWB: S92) attained its sales and earnings forecast in 2012 despite the difficult market environment. The company achieved sales of € 1.5 billion (2011: € 1.7 billion) and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of € 102 million (2011: € 240.3 million) at the conclusion of the fiscal year. At 7.0%, the EBIT margin was significantly below the previous year's figure (2011: 14.3%). The Managing Board will recommend that the Supervisory Board propose a dividend payout of € 0.60 per share at the annual general meeting on May 23, 2013. With this move, SMA will be one of the few companies in the solar sector offering a dividend.
According to estimates of the SMA Managing Board, new PV systems with a total power capacity of approximately 31 gigawatts were newly installed last year (2011: approximately 29 GW). 2012 was characterized by overcapacity on the photovoltaic market, tougher competition, and increasing price pressure. Due to massive changes to subsidies in Europe and purchases being brought forward as a result, the first nine months of 2012 were positive for SMA. The cuts in subsidies implemented in the fourth quarter and the growing uncertainty, particularly on the German photovoltaic market, had a noticeable negative effect on demand for PV inverters. SMA sold inverters with a total output of 7.2 gigawatts in the reporting period (2011: 7.6 GW). Due to the downward trend in Europe, the non-European markets increased in importance. There were significant growth impulses coming from North America, Japan, and Thailand in particular, which led to a export ratio of 56.3% (2011: 53.6%). In the reporting period, SMA continued to propel its internationalization rigorously and founded foreign companies in South Africa and Chile. The company is now represented in 21 countries and can thus reduce its dependence on individual markets.
Consolidated net profit was € 75.1 million in the reporting period (2011: € 166.1 million). In 2012, SMA achieved a positive free cash flow in a difficult market environment before paying the dividend. This feat underscores the company's ability to generate cash with its business model, even in a challenging competitive situation. The gross cash flow amounted to € 165.8 million in the reporting period (2011: € 240.7 million). With an equity ratio of 61.8% (Dec. 31, 2011: 57.4%) and net liquidity of € 446.3 million (Dec. 31, 2011: € 473.3 million), SMA continues to have a very solid balance-sheet structure and can finance its further development from its own resources.
"2013 will be a tough year for the solar sector. The photovoltaic market is currently undergoing major changes. However, we focused our corporate strategy on the future requirements of the energy sector at an early stage. Due to our development of innovative system technology and energy management solutions, company-wide efforts to reduce costs and consistent internationalization, we believe that SMA is well positioned to take the opportunities arising in the international photovoltaic markets. One thing is certain: The global transformation in the energy sector from central power plants to decentralized energy production is only possible with innovative system technology. We are focusing strategically on this worldwide growth market," explains SMA Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Pascal Urbon.
The SMA Managing Board confirms the sales and earnings guidance for SMA including Zeversolar for 2013. It predicts sales of € 0.9 billion to € 1.3 billion and a break-even result in the best scenario. Nevertheless, the Managing Board cannot exclude the possibility of a loss.
The annual report for 2012 is available online at www.SMA.de/....
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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