centrotherm photovoltaics AG

EANS-News: centrotherm photovoltaics confirms preliminary results and looks back on a challenging 2011

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Company Information

Subtitle:     • Revenue up by 11.9 percent to EUR 698.5 million

    • Earnings trend reflects difficult sector environment:
      Operating loss (EBIT) of EUR 19.8 million
    • Group launches ct focus efficiency program to cut costs and further adjust
capacities



Blaubeuren (euro adhoc) - March 27, 2012 - With today's publication of its 2011
annual report, centrotherm photovoltaics AG confirms the preliminary results it
announced on March 6, 2012, and presents further figures. Revenue advanced by
11.9 percent to EUR 698.5 million (2010: EUR 624.2 million), with the export
share standing at 95.4 percent (2010: 94.7 percent). Total operating performance
grew by 11.1 percent to EUR 757.0 million (2010: EUR 681.2 million). Earnings
before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell from EUR 101.3
million to EUR 10.2 million. The Group incurred an operating loss before
interest and tax (EBIT) of EUR 19.8 million (2010: operating profit of EUR 75.4
million), and a consolidated net loss of EUR 15.9 million (2001: net income of
EUR 51.1 million).

The equity ratio fell to 41.1 percent due to the consolidated net loss and the
dividend payout (2010: 49.2 percent). Our liquidity position amounted to
EUR 137.6 million as of the December 31, 2011 balance sheet date.

"2011 was no easy year for us. While the first half of the year was still
characterized by a thoroughgoing order boom that prompted us to expand our
production capacities, we were confronted by price falls and a deteriorating
market from the third quarter of 2011. Overcapacities and ruinous price
declines burdened polysilicon manufacturers, from wafers through to modules.
This difficult sector environment, coupled with the late-summer European debt
crisis, the banking crisis and uncertainties on financial markets demanded much
of our customers and us," commented Dr. Thomas Riegler, CFO of centrotherm
photovoltaics AG, at today's publication of the 2011 annual report. "These
overall circumstances severely curbed our customers' propensity to invest and
their financing possibilities, which fed through to modest new order intake in
the third quarter. The sector and financing situation worsened in the fourth
quarter, with our order situation finally undergoing a further drastic
deterioration."

The Management Board has responded to the continued strains in the market and
launched its ct focus efficiency program to run alongside cost and sales
campaigns that are already in place. The program's stated objective is to grow
sustainably and profitably with a streamlined and efficient organizational
structure, and a strategic focus on crystalline silicon along the photovoltaic
value chain.

Segment trends
In the Solar Cell & Module segment, revenue was increased from EUR 404.5
million in the previous year to EUR 607.9 million in a difficult 2011, thereby
running counter to the general sector trend. The strained market situation,
particularly in the fourth quarter 2011, fed through to the postponement and
cancellation of individual projects, necessitating the revaluation of
inventories. This pushed segment operating earnings down to EUR 71.9 million
(previous year: EUR 91.6 million). Revenue in the Silicon & Wafer segment
amounted to EUR 57.9 million (previous year: EUR 201.7 million). A loss of
EUR 70.3 million was incurred at the EBIT level (previous year: operating
profit of EUR 21.2 million). This segment's business trend was primarily
affected by the strained sector situation and the polysilicon price decline.
Given the extreme deterioration in the market and financing situations, the
Management Board was prompted to apply impairment charges to individual large-
scale projects in the third quarter of 2011, which significantly burdened
operating earnings.

Revenue of EUR 32.7 million was generated in the Thin Film Module segment
(previous year: EUR 18.0 million) - and predominantly by the wholly-owned
subsidiary FHR Anlagenbau. A EUR 21.4 million loss was incurred at the EBIT
level, in line with expectations (previous year: operating loss of EUR 37.4
million).

Order trend reflects sector environment
The reporting year elapsed was characterized by continued uncertainty on
financial markets, the difficult PV sector market environment, and customers'
investment reticence. centrotherm photovoltaics nevertheless booked new orders
with a total volume of EUR 423.4 million in the 2011 financial year. The Solar
Cell & Module segment generated 90 percent 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 the Thin Film Module
segment.

2012 outlook
centrotherm photovoltaics will be confronted by challenges again in 2012 with
some uncertainties. The sector is undergoing a consolidation phase, and its
further development depends on a large number of factors, including influences
from politics and the financial markets, which are currently difficult to
predict. centrotherm photovoltaics has prepared accordingly with our ct focus
efficiency program. The technology and equipment provider is not assuming a
significant change to the current situation during the first half of 2012.

"We also regard continued cost pressure in the photovoltaic sector as an
opportunity for two reasons. First, our customers, manufacturers of solar cells
and modules, and polysilicon, are focusing on highly-efficient technologies and
production systems that lend them competitive advantages. Second, photovoltaics
is quite clearly on a medium- to long-term growth path driven by the rising
energy demand worldwide, and the energy policy turnaround that has started,"
commented Robert M. Hartung, CEO and Management Board Spokesman of centrotherm
photovoltaics AG. "We prefer to refrain from issuing a revenue and earnings
forecast for the 2012 financial year given the current market situation. We
have positioned ourselves very well for the future in strategic terms with our
focus on our core competencies, a strong large-scale project business and by
directing our sales efforts towards the MENA countries."

Note: The 2011 annual report can be downloaded from our website at
www.centrotherm.de, within the Investor Relations area.

About centrotherm photovoltaics AG
centrotherm photovoltaics AG, which is based at Blaubeuren, Germany, is the
world's leading technology and equipment provider for the photovoltaics sector.
The company equips well-known solar companies and new sector entrants with
turnkey production lines and single equipment to manufacture silicon,
crystalline solar cells and thin film modules. As a consequence, the Group
possesses a broad and well-founded technological basis, as well as key
equipment at practically all steps of the photovoltaics value chain.
centrotherm photovoltaics guarantees its customers important performance
parameters such as production capacity, efficiencies, and completion deadlines.
The Group employed around 1,900 staff as of the December 31, 2011 reporting
date, and operates globally in Europe, Asia and the USA. centrotherm
photovoltaics achieved revenue in the 2011 financial year of around EUR 700
million. The company is listed in the TecDAX index on the Frankfurt Stock
Exchange.

Contact:
Saskia Feil
Senior Manager Investor & Public Relations
Tel: +49 7344 918-8890
E-mail: saskia.feil@centrotherm.de

Dr. Torsten Knödler
Manager Public Relations
Tel: +49 7344 918-8898
E-mail: torsten.knoedler@centrotherm.de


Further inquiry note:
Dr. Torsten Knödler
Manager Public Relations
Tel.: 07344 - 918-8898
E-Mail: torsten.knoedler@centrotherm.de

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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company:     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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