29 April 2010


Cd PV maker First Solar’s profit rises in Q1 despite 11% dip in sales

For first-quarter 2010, First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which manufactures thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe) as well as providing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, has reported net sales of $568m, up 36% on $418.2m a year ago, due mainly to strong module demand and increased production, partially offset by a decline in pricing. However, sales are down 11% from $641.3m last quarter, due mainly to a shift from turnkey systems to modules.

Net income was $172.3m, up from $164.6m a year ago and $141.6m last quarter due to higher volumes, increased module prices, and the absence of certain non-recurring expenses.

For 2010, First Solar forecasts net sales of $2.6–2.7bn (up from $2.07bn in 2009), reflecting reallocation of module capacity from the systems business to meet stronger module demand from European customers. The firm also expects operating cash flow to rise from $675m in 2009 to $725–775m, and total capital spending to rise from $280m in 2009 to $625–650m.

To expand capacity, First Solar’s board of directors has approved an additional four-line manufacturing plant (with an annual capacity of more than 220MW at the first-quarter 2010 line run-rate). The plant is expected to begin production in fourth-quarter 2011.

See related item:

First Solar grows 33% sequentially, but project development hits profits

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