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Centrosolar annual forecast downgraded

Centrosolar Group’s annual revenue forecast has been downgraded by approximately 20% following a reduction in market prices.

By Isabella Kaminski

Centrosolar’s annual revenue for 2011 is now expected to be between €330 million and 380 million, a significant drop from the earlier forecast of €420-450m. The solar photovoltaic (PV) suppler's earnings before interest and tax are expected to be positive.

According to the Centrosolar, revenue has been driven down by reduced market prices, which have dropped more sharply than was anticipated in the annual planning.

Provisional figures for the first half of the year show a revenue of €150.5m and earnings before tax and interest at minus €4.9m.

According to Centrosolar, however, the lower prices for solar have temporarily prompted a 'wait-and-see' response among customers and they now offer the prospect of attractive rates of return to solar PV operators. The company expects the second half of the year to see increasing demand for roof-mounted solar systems – Centrosolar’s core product.

Centrosolar adds that, since prices of solar cells have also fallen, it will be able to benefit from a flexible procurement strategy. Centrosolar’s core European business remain profitable but, as a result of the price-driven reduction in revenues, has been unable to cover the costs of expansion as planned.

Centrosolar did, however, increase revenue in Belgium and the UK. In Italy, financial incentives for solar systems were effectively suspended between March and May, but from June onwards Centrosolar noted a revival in interest in its roof systems since European systems and roof-integrated configurations began to special financial incentives.
 
Although Centrosolar's range of products and services widened in the US and Canada, this area incurred start-up losses of €3m in the first half of the year. Centrosolar says that the launch of new mounting systems products weighed impacted its earnings.

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