The year 2019 was a special one for SMA Solar as it secured its largest order ever, that came from a US utility, and the company exceeded the 10 GW inverter sales per year milestone for the first time with 11.4 GW sold during the year. (Source: SMA Solar Technology AG)
- SMA Solar’s 2019 business results were same as shared by the company during preliminary announcement
- Full year 2019 sales improved by around 20% with a positive EBITDA of €34.2 million
- Net loss for the company dropped from €-175.5 million in 2018 to €-8.6 million in 2019
- Management is confident of achieving its targeted 2020 sales between €1 billion to €1.1 billion notwithstanding the coronavirus disrupting businesses all across
German solar PV inverter supplier SMA Solar Technology AG has reiterated its February 2020 guidance for sales between €1 billion to €1.1 billion during fiscal year 2020, despite the coronavirus crisis, along with EBITDA of €50 million and €80 million.
Jeffrey Osborne, analyst at investment bank Cowen, points out, “EBITDA guidance of €50-80mn implies that GM stays in the high teens to 20% in our view, thus the product cycle has largely only allowed the company to be more competitive on price relative to Asian peers, but the majority is not falling to the bottom line at the pace that Enphase and SolarEdge have seen.” According to Osborne, “In regard to the competitive environment, SMA sees stable conditions and is the most optimistic on share gains in the utility scale and commercial segments, where new products with substantially lower costs have repositioned the company to be more competitive on price in recent quarters.”
However, SMA’s management plans to continue with its cost reduction measures and is confident of gaining market shares ‘even in the current circumstances’ as coronavirus has had only a ‘minimal negative impact’ on its business development.
“Since the beginning of the year, order intake and sales have continued to develop positively and we have minimized supply shortages through active management. SMA has focused on prevention at an early stage, implementing appropriate measures such as travel bans, mobile working where possible and adjustments to manufacturing processes,” said CEO Jürgen Reinert. “We are thereby guaranteeing business as usual as far as possible, while protecting the health of our employees at the same time. We will of course have to closely monitor the ongoing developments in relation to the coronavirus and respond quickly and flexibly at all times. However, we consider SMA well equipped to respond appropriately to all possible developments.”
In 2020, it expects sales growth in all segments especially large scale and business as it touts the contract for the delivery of 595 medium-voltage solutions with a cumulative output of 2.2 GW to a major US utility, secured in 2019 as the ‘largest order’ in the company’s history.
In Q1/2020, the management anticipates sales of between €275 million and €285 million along with EBITDA of between €12 million and €15 million.
Even though SMA Solar reported a net loss of €-8.6 million in 2019, it is still a huge reduction from a net loss of €-175.5 million it suffered in 2018. Nonetheless, the company increased its annual sales by around 20% to €915.1 million with a positive EBITDA of €34.2 million, thanks mainly to the home solutions and large scale & project solutions segments that improved performance in Germany, US and newer markets.
As shared during the preliminary results announcement, SMA exceeded the 10 GW milestone for inverter sales per year for the first time at 11.4 GW, growing 35% from selling 8.5 GW in the previous year.
Last year, the German inverter company increased its order backlog by 125% to €395 million taking the cumulative backlog to €766 million till December 31, 2019. The largest contribution is from the service segment and will be implemented over the next 5 years to 10 years. Geographically the spread show a maximum in the Americas region.