The SMA Managing Board estimates that photovoltaic plants with a presumed capacity of approx. 23 gigawatts were installed worldwide in 2011. "With this, the size of the global market remained nearly unchanged in comparison to 2010. At the same time, demand shifted regionally. Declines in some important photovoltaic markets were compensated by growth in new markets," explained Pierre-Pascal Urbon, Spokesman of the Managing Board and Chief Financial Officer of SMA Solar Technology AG. "The product mix changed accordingly, and there was increasing demand for larger inverters. Thanks to our broad product range – from Sunny Boy inverters for private photovoltaic plants to Sunny Central inverters for large-scale PV projects – and to our strong international position, we were able to serve the changed demand well."
In the world's largest photovoltaic market, Germany, SMA successfully maintained its position as market leader and even expanded it slightly. PV plants with a capacity of three gigawatts were constructed here during December 2011 alone. There are many different reasons for the strong growth in new installations. One significant factor is the 15 percent reduction in the feed-in tariff as of January 1, 2012. Added to this was an increased sell-off at year's end among wholesalers in order to minimize the risk of depreciation of their inventories. The advantageous interest rate level, low system prices and unusually mild weather also promoted the additional installation. "We also assume that many photovoltaic plants were only commissioned commercially; the installed plants were therefore registered with the Federal Network Agency without inverters. We already see this reflected in our current business development," Urbon said.
According to preliminary estimates by the Managing Board, SMA's sales in the fiscal year 2011 amounted to around €1.7 billion. Export sales are anticipated to have increased by approx. 55 % (2010: 45 %). Project business made up about 25 % of the Group's sales, according to initial estimates (2010: 18 %). SMA will continue its successful internationalization strategy in 2012 and will establish foreign companies in South America and Africa.
The Managing Board of SMA anticipates slight growth in global demand for photovoltaic plants during the current fiscal year, but cannot exclude the possibility of a slight decline. "We see positive growth in 2012 in the United States, Japan and India. A reliable forecast for the global market is not currently possible, however, due to numerous changes in important markets and uncertainty caused by the current euro and financial crisis," Urbon emphasized. "We can therefore provide no sales and earnings forecast at this point for the current fiscal year."
The SMA Managing Board is confident that thanks to the company's high flexibility, continuous investment in research and development, innovative product portfolio and strong international position, SMA is well positioned to react quickly to all market developments and to profit from the outstanding long-term potential for growth in the promising field of photovoltaics technology.
The SMA Managing Board will present the complete consolidated financial statement for the 2011 fiscal year at its press conference on the annual results on March 29, 2012 in Frankfurt/Main. The 2011 annual report will be available at www.SMA.de in the Investor Relations section.
The SMA Group generated sales of €1.9 billion in 2010 and is the global market leader for solar inverters, a key component of all PV plants. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented in 19 countries on four continents. The Group employs more than 5,300 people worldwide, including temporary seasonal employees. SMA's broad product portfolio includes a compatible inverter for every type of module on the market and for all plant sizes. The product range covers both inverters for photovoltaic plants connected to the grid as well as inverters for off-grid systems. Therefore, SMA is able to provide ideal technical inverter solutions for all plant sizes and types. Since 2008, the Group's parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and also in the TecDAX index. In recent years, SMA has received numerous awards for excellence as an employer and most recently achieved first place in the nationwide "Great Place to Work" competition.
SMA Solar Technology AG
Head of Corporate Communication:
Tel. +49 561 9522-28 05
Tel. +49 561 9522-11 24
Fax +49 561 9522-531 400
Investor Relations contact:
Director of Investor Relations
Tel. +49 561 9522-22 22
Fax +49 561 9522-22 23
Manager, Investor Relations
Tel. +49 561 9522-11 64
This press release serves only as information and does not constitute an offer or invitation to subscribe for, acquire, hold or sell any securities of SMA Solar Technology AG (the "Company") or any present or future subsidiary of the Company (together with the Company, the "SMA Group") nor should it form the basis of, or be relied upon in connection with, any contract to purchase or subscribe for any securities in the Company or any member of the SMA Group or commitment whatsoever. Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States of America absent registration or an exemption from registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
This press release can contain future-oriented statements. Future-oriented statements are statements which do not describe facts of the past. They also include statements about our assumptions and expectations. These statements are based on plans, estimations and forecasts which the Managing board of SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA or company) has available at this time. Future-oriented statements are therefore only valid on the day on which they are made. Future-oriented statements by nature contain risks and elements of uncertainty. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors can lead to considerable differences between the actual results, the financial position, the development or the performance of the corporation and the estimates given here. These factors include those which SMA has discussed in published reports. These reports are available on the SMA website at www.SMA.de. The company accepts no obligation whatsoever to update these future-oriented statements or to adjust them to future events or developments.