centrotherm photovoltaics AG

EANS-Adhoc: centrotherm photovoltaics publishes preliminary results and announces extensive efficiency program and refocusing

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  ad-hoc disclosure pursuant to section 15 of the WpHG transmitted by euro
  adhoc with the aim of a Europe-wide distribution. The issuer is solely
  responsible for the content of this announcement.
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Company Information

06.03.2012


-       Revenue up 11.9 % to EUR 698.5 million
-       EBIT operating loss of EUR 19.8 million
-       "ct focus" efficiency program launched to reduce costs and further
adjust capacities
-       Business refocusing: strategic concentration on crystalline silicon
along photovoltaic value chain


Blaubeuren, March 6, 2012 - centrotherm photovoltaics AG, Blaubeuren, continued
to report growth in the 2011 financial year, which was a difficult year for the
solar sector: revenue generated by the globally leading provider of technology
and equipment to the photovoltaic sector grew by 11.9 % to EUR 698.5 million
according to preliminary figures (previous year: EUR 624.2 million). Earnings
before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell from EUR 101.3
million to EUR 10.2 million in the 2011 reporting period. The company reported a
EUR 19.8 million operating loss at the earnings before interest and tax (EBIT)
level (previous year: EUR 75.4 million profit). Continued tensions within the
sector, in particular, tangibly affected the 2011 earnings trend. One-offs
amounting to a loss off EUR 75.0 million arose from adjustments to individual
large-scale projects, and a weak third- and fourth-quarter operating profit and
corresponding adjustments, which reflected market trends. Due to the
surprisingly drastic deterioration in market and financial circumstances, the
Group failed to achieve its guidance for the 2011 financial year of EUR 710
million of consolidated revenue, and a slightly positive EBIT margin.

Segment trends 
In the Solar Cell & Module segment, revenue was up from EUR 404.5 million in the
previous year to EUR 607.9 million in 2011, thereby running counter to a
generally difficult trend in the sector. The strained market situation,
particularly in the fourth quarter of 2011, resulted in the postponement and
cancellation of some projects, and necessitated a revaluation of inventories,
which fed through to a fall in segment earnings to EUR 71.9 million (previous
year: EUR 91.6 million). In the Silicon & Wafer segment, revenue stood at EUR
57.9 million (previous year: EUR 201.7 million), and EBIT reported a loss of EUR
70.3 million (previous year: EUR 21.2 million profit). This segment's business
trend was primarily affected by the tense sector situation, and the polysilicon
price fall. Given the extremly worsening of the market and financial situation,
the Management Board was prompted to apply adjustments to individual large-scale
projects in Asia in the third quarter, which exerted a considerably negative
impact on segment operating earnings.

In the Thin Film Module segment, the company reported EUR 32.7 million of
revenue (previous year: EUR 18.0 million) - predominantly from the wholly-owned
FHR Anlagenbau subsidiary. EBIT improved to a EUR 21.4 million loss, in line
with expectations (previous year: EUR 37.4 million loss).

Sector environment affects order trends
The financial year elapsed was characterized by ongoing uncertainty on financial
markets, the difficult photovoltaic sector market environment, and customers'
continued reluctance to invest. Correspondingly, centrotherm photovoltaics
reported EUR 423.4 million as its total new order intake in the 2011 financial
year. The Solar Cell & Module segment generated 90 % of these orders. The order
book position stood at EUR 423.0 million as of December 31, 2011, of which EUR
234.6 million was attributable to the Solar Cell & Module segment, EUR 176.1
million to the Silicon & Wafer segment, and EUR 12.3 million to orders generated
in the Thin Film Module segment.

"ct focus" efficiency program launched
The Management Board has responded to the continued tensions on the market, and
has launched its "ct focus" efficiency program, which will run alongside costs
and sales initiatives that are already in place. The program's declared
objective is to grow profitably and sustainably with a streamlined and efficient
organizational structure, and a strategic focus on crystalline silicon along the
photovoltaic value chain. This program's first step will entail a significant
reduction of costs, and an adjustment to Group personnel capacities. The company
aims to achieve around EUR 22 million of cost savings per year by the end of
2013. Along with a refocusing on business entailing production systems and
technologies to manufacture crystalline solar cells and modules, and the
production of high-purity silicon, a further significant component of the
program will be the expansion of the Semiconductors & Microelectronics area. The
Management Board has decided in this connection to close the Thin Film Module
segment at the Blaubeuren site and to transfer some areas to Asia. This move
will bundle resources, and create a unit that is closely geared to the market.
An extensive sales campaign conducted by all segments will complete the "ct
focus" package of measures.


Further inquiry note:
Saskia Feil
Tel: +49 (0) 7344 918-8890
saskia.feil@centrotherm.de

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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issuer:      centrotherm photovoltaics AG
             Johannes-Schmid-Str. 8
             D-89143 Blaubeuren
phone:       +49 (0) 7344 91880
mail:     info@centrotherm.de
WWW:      http://www.centrotherm.de
sector:      Energy
ISIN:        DE000A0JMMN2
indexes:     TecDAX
stockmarkets: free trade: Berlin, München, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart,
             regulated dealing/prime standard: Frankfurt 
language:   English
 



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