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SolarWorld Confirms Lackluster Growth

German solar PV manufacturer SolarWorld confirmed its original lackluster preliminary financial results this week, with marginal growth against a backdrop of a lingering legal dispute with US polysilicon supplier Hemlock.

Earlier this month SolarWorld published its preliminary results for the second quarter of 2016, which posited only small revenue growth with larger shipment growth. The preliminary results were potentially responsible for halting a declining share price, but it has been a rocky road over the past few months for the Germany manufacturer. However, the market was obviously relatively content with the company’s official financial results, with the company’s stock price jumping 10% on the back of the results.

SolarWorld confirmed that its shipments had increased by 39% in the second quarter, shipping a total of 342 MW, up from 246 in the second quarter of 2015. Surprisingly, unlike most every solar manufacturer of late, SolarWorld’s growth was made up more than half by shipments to the United States. The company’s revenue was €222 for the second quarter, in line with the company’s preliminary findings. When compared to a year earlier, the growth is impressive — up 30% from €171 million — however, when compared to the year’s first quarter, its growth only amounts to 4.5%.

The company’s EBITDA showed an improved operating performance, growing from €7 million in Q2’15 to €16.4, increasing the company’s 1H’2016 EBITDA to €18.5 million, up from €9.9 million in H1’2015.

“Our broad basis in international solar markets and our balanced product portfolio have paid off,” said Dr.-Ing. E. h. Frank Asbeck, CEO of SolarWorld AG. “In the second quarter, drivers for growth were our leading technology in high efficiency modules. Our quality products with standard power were also high in demand.”

The company’s “quality products” were recently the highlight in an interview with Erin Clark, President of PetersenDean, a leading US roofing and solar power systems installer. After relying on Chinese module suppliers, Erin Clark “vowed to only buy high quality American products,” at which point it turned to SolarWorld.

“They don’t have failures,” said Clark. “They don’t have recall issues. SolarWorld is, hands down, the best manufacturer on the planet earth. The team over there couldn’t be better to work with. I’ve toured that (Hillsboro) factory six times and learned something new every single time.”

Note — though SolarWorld is in fact a German company, Hillsboro, Oregon, is home to the US headquarters and the largest solar module production facility in the Americas.

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