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SMA Solar outshines rivals

March 27, 2013

SMA Solar of Germany has reported declining profits for 2012, but ended the year in positive territory despite an unfavorable global environment in the sector. Cost-saving measures are to keep the firm in good shape.

Solar panle field with logo of SMA Solar Photo: Uwe Zucchi/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

German inverter producer SMA Solar announced Wednesday it logged a net profit of 75.1 million euros ($95.9 million) for 2012, marking a 55-percent drop in annual earnings due to overcapacities and sinking prices for solar industry components.

The country's biggest solar company also reported a decline in revenues, with a total of 1.46 billion euros, meaning a 13-percent dip in turnover.

The firm, however, made a point of emphasizing its continued solid capital base, announcing that it had bucked the trend with many rivals being deeply in the red or having filed for insolvency, including China's Suntech.

Shareholders' reward curtailed

SMA Solar said it was hopeful to ride out the storm in the sector with a package of cost-saving measures and new innovative products. "Reducing costs is high on the list of our priorities," chief executive Pierre-Pascal Urbon said in a statement in Frankfurt.

The TecDax-listed firm said it expected revenues to decrease slightly or stay unchanged at best throughout the current year with much of Europe still in a debt crisis and growth opportunities only realistic in North America, Japan and Thailand.

Energy of the future

SMA Solar announced it would invest 120 million euros in research and development projects. The company's dividend per share will come down to 0.60 euros for 2012 from 1.30 euros in the previous year.

The company is active in 21 countries around the globe and has a workforce of some 5,000 at present, down from 6,400 towards the end of 2011.

hg/mkg (dpa, Reuters)