Preliminary results for 2019: We are on the right track

At today’s Capital Markets Day, we presented analysts, investors and media representatives with the preliminary business figures for 2019, the positioning of SMA and our outlook for 2020. Last year, SMA sold more than 10 gigawatts of inverter output for the first time ever and significantly improved sales and earnings. The figures show that the measures we implemented to reduce costs and to increase sales after a difficult 2018 were successful. We will continue to follow this path in 2020.

With 11.4 gigawatts, we sold 34% more inverter capacity last year than in the year before. This output is enough to replace the environmentally harmful power from ten coal-fired power plants with climate friendly solar power. With expected sales of around €915 million, we exceeded our guidance. At around €35 million, preliminary earnings (EBITDA) are in line with our guidance. We also improved EBIT, although, at approximately –€11 million, it is not yet positive. After the very poor figures of 2018, I think this is an enormous achievement, and one that all SMA employees played an active role in accomplishing. Thanks to their huge commitment, we reached a number of key milestones in many areas in 2019. For example, we concluded contracts to supply battery inverters with a total output of more than 1 gigawatt, increased our portfolio by approximately 30% to 4.5 gigawatts in the area of operations and maintenance services for large-scale PV power plants, and, in June, received the largest inverter order in the company’s history. Delivery of 595 Medium Voltage Power Stations with the new Sunny Central UP central inverter to a large U.S. utility company began in the third quarter. This, and other orders, enabled us to increase our market share on the highly important American market. We are also pleased to have gained a good foothold in several new markets.

Sales and earnings will continue to increase in 2020

We intend to build on this in the current year so that we can continue to grow and secure our long-term profitability. SMA is very well positioned to benefit from the anticipated market growth in Europe and America and to gain additional market shares. Of course, we will also continue to press ahead with our positioning in fields of the future such as storage integration, e-mobility and digital energy services. At the same time, we will keep a very close eye on our costs. In 2019, we achieved the savings targets we set at the beginning of the year. For 2020, we have set ourselves the goal of further reducing costs through additional measures. For this reason, my colleague on the Managing Board, Ulrich Hadding, and I forecast a further improvement in sales and earnings this year. We anticipate sales to increase to between €1.0 billion and €1.1 billion and a positive EBITDA of between €50 million and €80 million in 2020.

We will help shape the transformation to a sustainable energy supply

I am also optimistic about the future beyond 2020 – after all, the ongoing decentralization and digitalization of the energy supply provide us with a wealth of opportunities. More and more people, companies and governments worldwide want to finally take effective action against climate change. Photovoltaics will play an important role in this. And right from the outset, SMA has played a decisive role in the development of photovoltaics as an important sustainable and cost-effective energy source. We will benefit from the current market consolidation and utilize our many years of experience as well as our knowledge and passion to help shape the worldwide transformation to the decentralized, digital and renewable energy supply of the future.

 

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