SMA records high loss in 2018

Revenues of German inverter manufacturer SMA Solar Technology AG fell to €760.9 million ($857 million) in 2018 compared to €891.0 million in 2017, according to the company »primarily due to the decline in the PV market in China, as a result of which Chinese providers increasingly advanced into international markets and caused enormous price pressure there.« Net loss came to €–175.5 million ($-197 million), compared to net income of €30.1 million in the previous year. SMA sold inverters with an accumulated output of around 8.5 GW (2017: 8.5 GW).
»Having started the fiscal year with a high order backlog, the continuing shortage of electronic components meant that in the first half of the year we were only able to supply our customers to a limited extent, particularly in the commercial PV systems segment,« said SMA Chief Executive Officer Jürgen Reinert. At the end of May, the Chinese government reduced its PV expansion targets and solar power subsidies with immediate effect. As a result, Chinese providers »increasingly advanced into international markets and caused enormous price pressure in all segments. In the second half of the year, project developers and investors postponed the implementation of photovoltaic projects until the following year in anticipation of a further decline in prices.« In addition, the storage technology growth segment »was affected by the limited availability of battery-storage systems.«
For the first quarter of 2019, the SMA Managing Board is anticipating sales of €160 million to €170 million (Q1 2018: €182.5 million) and EBITDA between €–5 million and €0 million (Q1 2018: €17.5 million). The SMA Managing Board is confirming its sales and earnings guidance for the 2019 fiscal year, which forecasts sales of between €800 million and €880 million and EBITDA of between €20 million and €50 million. The Managing Board estimates that depreciation and amortization will amount to approximately €50 million.

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