- Sales in the fiscal year total € 116.2 million
- Demand, deterioration of prices and non-recurrent expenses had a negative impact on sales revenues and operating result
- New perspectives in international growth markets with the LDK Solar Group as majority shareholder
Sunways AG generated consolidated sales of € 116.2 million in the fiscal year 2011 (2010: € 222.7 million). This slump in sales of about 50 percent compared to the prior year was due to shifts in demand in the target markets over large parts of the year as well as dramatic price declines for components of photovoltaic systems, in particular solar modules (by up to 40 percent within twelve months). The company incurred an operating loss (EBIT) for the fiscal year 2011 in the amount of € 66.1 million (2010: € +15.0 million).
"2011 was an extremely difficult year for the entire German solar industry, a fact which is also clearly reflected in our financial statements," says Michael Wilhelm, Chairman of the Management Board of Sunways AG. "Non-recurrent expenses in the context of the transaction with the LDK Solar Group also had a negative impact on the operating result of Sunways. However, we have won a strategic investor for the future who will open up new growth prospects for our company."
In addition, there were non-recurrent and extraordinary expenses in connection with provisions for anticipated losses under wafer purchase contracts (Deutsche Solar) and various agreements relating to the supply of inverters as well as provisions for warranties and impairments of fixed assets. The operating result of Sunways AG in the fourth quarter was strongly affected by expenses totaling approximately € 44.0 million, approximately € 34.0 million thereof in the form of transaction-related and other non-recurrent effects. In the fiscal year 2011, Sunways reported a consolidated net loss of € 62.1 million (2010: consolidated net income of € 9.3 million). This corresponds to earnings per share of € -5.35 (2010: € 0.80).
International sales have a stabilizing effect
Sunways was again able to markedly increase its export rate against the prior year. A total of 45.4 percent of consolidated sales were generated abroad (2010: 29.2 percent); in absolute terms, this corresponds to sales revenues of € 52.7 million (2010: € 65.2 million). Thus the relevant sales revenues experienced a slight decline, but all in all the internationalization of distribution activities had a significant stabilizing effect on the Sunways Group’s business volume.
Declining sales revenues despite record level of solar module sales volumes
Solar module sales volumes rose again after the weak first quarter: with a sales volume of 22.1 megawatts peak, the fourth quarter was even the strongest quarter so far in the company’s history. Overall, solar modules with a capacity of 66.8 megawatts peak were sold in 2011 (2010: 54 megawatts peak) – this corresponds to a 23.7 percent growth over the prior year. However, despite the record level of sales volumes, sales revenues declined to € 81.3 million due to the dramatic deterioration of prices for solar modules (2010: € 96,0 million). Sales revenues in the solar inverter segment aggregated to only € 27.5 million (2010: 46,6 million) which corresponds to a decline by 41 percent. Similar to the development of sales volumes in the solar module segment, inverter sales volumes were at their weakest in the first quarter 2011 but recovered in the course of the year.
LDK Solar as strategic investor
In the context of a capital increase resolved on 31 December 2011 and recorded in the commercial register on 23 February 2012, LDK Solar Germany Holding GmbH became the major individual shareholder of Sunways AG. On 13 February 2012, the German subsidiary of the LDK Solar Group submitted a voluntary public takeover offer to all Sunways shareholders. Upon expiration of the acceptance period on 12 April 2012, LDK Solar Germany Holding GmbH held approximately 70.88 percent of the share capital.
Management Board member Roland Burkhardt resigned
Roland Burkhardt, Management Board member Technology, Research and Development, left Sunways AG of his own volition upon expiration of his employment contract as of 31 March 2012. His responsibilities were divided between two existing Management Board divisions. Research and development activities with respect to solar inverters as well as quality assurance were assigned to the area of responsibility of Michael Wilhelm, Chairman of the Management Board. Management Board member Jörg von Strom is now also in charge of research and development activities relating to solar cells and modules.
Transfer to the General Standard trading segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
On 26 June 2012, the Supervisory Board of Sunways AG approved a Management Board resolution on a transfer of the listing of the Sunways shares from the Prime Standard to the General Standard trading segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. This change in trading segment serves to reduce the additional expenses in connection with a listing in the Prime Standard. The decision to revoke the admission to the Prime Standard was published by Deutsche Börse on the internet on 11 July 2012. Thus such revocation will take effect as of the end of 11 October 2012. Trading of the Sunways shares in the General Standard will commence on 12 October 2012.
Premature termination of long-term supply contracts
On 18 July 2012, the Management Board of Sunways AG entered into an agreement with Deutsche Solar GmbH on the modification and premature termination of two long-term wafer purchase contracts. Under this agreement, Sunways waived the remaining amount of about € 7.5 million of a prepayment already made. At the same time, the parties agreed to modify the existing agreements, which provided for wafer shipments until the end of 2018 or 2017, to the effect that Sunways has to purchase a total wafer volume of approximately 60 megawatts in 2012 and 2013. If the renegotiated purchase commitments have been met in full by 31 December 2013, both contracts will be terminated by mutual agreement as of that date.
Due to this agreement and the negative development of market prices since the beginning of 2012, provisions for anticipated losses in a total amount of approx. € 4.6 million were reported through profit and loss in the 2011 financial statements with respect to this contract modification. This agreement constitutes an advantage for Sunways AG compared to a continuation of the contracts on the initially agreed terms and conditions. "We are convinced that the conclusion of the amendment agreement is in the economic interest of Sunways since its positive effects in the medium and long term will markedly exceed its short-term negative effects," says Michael Wilhelm.
The balance sheet effects of the amendment agreement with Deutsche Solar GmbH as well as other losses incurred over recent months resulted in a loss equal to more than half of the share capital of Sunways AG.
Outlook for 2012
"The situation in the global photovoltaics markets will not be alleviated in the current year. 2012 is a year of transition for Sunways and the main goal is to stabilize the development of sales volumes and sales revenues, to improve earnings and to realize first visible successes in the context of our cooperation with LDK Solar," says Michael Wilhelm, Chairman of the Management Board.
In recent months, there were materials bottlenecks relating to module production in China. Thus the availability of Sunways solar modules was limited in the first two quarters of the current year. As a result of such shortages, Sunways was also unable to fully utilize its solar cell production capacities which had an adverse impact on gross profit. On the other hand, sales volumes of Sunways solar inverters increased markedly. As a result of the decline in sales prices, gross profit nevertheless dropped from the prior year figure. Due to the pressure on margins in all segments that continued in the first half of 2012, the operating result generated by the Sunways Group in the first two quarters was negative.
Against the background of the takeover of a majority stake in Sunways and current business developments, Sunways was able to reach an agreement with its lending banks on reduced credit facilities that will run until September 2013. "In addition, LDK Solar supported the funding activities of Sunways through various instruments," explains Michael Wilhelm. In addition to the waiver of a claim relating to a long-term liability, adequate payment terms were agreed with respect to all goods and services sourced from China. Furthermore, Sunways has received a letter of support from LDK Solar that will expire on 31 August 2014.
Sales revenues: € 116.2 million (2010: € 222.7 million)
EBIT: € -66.1 million (2010: € 15.0 million)
Consolidated net loss: € -62.1 million (2010: € 9.3 million)
Earnings per share: € -5.35 million (2010: € 0.80 million)
Number of employees (31 Dec 2011): 332 (2010: 344)
Solar cell segment
Sales revenues: € 60.2 million (2010: € 108.7 million)
EBIT: € -42.6 million (2010: € 11.2 million)
Solar cell sales volume: 64.9 megawatts peak (2010: 97.8 megawatts peak)
Solar module segment
Sales revenues: € 81.3 million (2010: € 96.0 million)
EBIT: € -13.7 million (2010: € -1.7 million)
Solar module sales volume: 66.8 megawatts peak (2010: 54 megawatts peak)
Solar inverter segment
Sales revenues: € 27.5 million (2010: € 46.6 million)
EBIT: € -9.8 million (2010: € 5.5 million)
Solar inverter sales volume: 139.3 megawatts peak (2010: 191.1 megawatts peak)
Sunways Closes Difficult 2011 Fiscal Year
- Sales in the fiscal year total € 116.2 million
Sunways (Solar Components): https://www.enfsolar.com/sunways
LDK Solar (Solar Materials): https://www.enfsolar.com/ldk-solar