August 9 (Solar) – German inverter maker SMA Solar Technology (ETR:S92) today reported increases in first-half sales and earnings and confirmed its 2018 guidance, but said it expects China's policy changes to curtail its addressable market.
Net profit rose to EUR 11.2 million (USD 13m) from EUR 8.8 million in the first half of 2017, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew to EUR 40.9 million from EUR 29.2 million. The EBITDA margin and gross margin moved up to 10.4% from 7.7% and to 24.5% from 19.2%, respectively.
Sales in the period climbed 3.5% to EUR 394.6 million as the company sold inverters with a total output of around 4.3 GW, up from 3.8 GW a year ago.
"SMA recorded a positive business performance in the first half of 2018, particularly in Asia and Europe," said chief executive Pierre-Pascal Urbon. "This is a good result because our production processes have been hampered by the general shortage of electronic components," the CEO added. In the second half of 2018, the inverter maker expects the delivery situation to improve and sales to be higher.
The company, however, said that the surprising reduction in photovoltaic (PV) expansion targets and feed-in tariffs (FiTs) in China will reduce global demand and limit growth in its accessible market by only 7% annually to EUR 7.6 billion by 2020, compared to a previous forecast of EUR 9.2 billion.
SMA confirmed its full-year guidance for EUR 900 million-1 billion in sales and EUR 90 million-110 million in EBITDA.
|in EUR millions||Q2 2018||Q2 2017||H1 2018||H1 2017|
|Operating profit (EBIT)||10.4||0.22||14.7||2.8|
|Profit before income taxes||10.3||0.8||14.6||3.7|
|Profit from continuing operations||8.4||2.8||11.2||9.1|
(EUR 1 = USD 1.159)