German inverter maker SMA announced impressive sales figures for the first quarter but still suffered a net loss and, with strong sales in the U.S. and Europe making a big contribution in the January-to-March period, the effects of the Covid-19 shutdowns which were beginning to be ushered in at the end of the window are yet to be seen.
If the global financial fallout of the public health crisis is as severe as economists are predicting, SMA can at least console itself with the fact that Q1 returns had already supplied 60% of the full-year sales and orders expectation, according to CEO Jürgen Reinert.
The first-quarter figures, published today, showed SMA more than doubled shipments in the quarter, to 4.4 GW, as sales hit €288 million, up from €168 million in the same period of last year. Ebitda also rose year-on-year, from €1 million to €12 million as net losses fell from €10.6 million to around €300,000.
The company said the increase in sales was mainly due to a strong U.S. project business and continued positive trading in Europe.
The large scale and project solutions segment made the strongest sales contribution, accounting for 47.9% of the total first-quarter figure. The business solutions segment generated 27.3% of quarterly sales and the home solutions business 24.8%. The company said order intake developed positively in all segments.
The balance sheet showed net liquidity of €243 million and an equity ratio of 40.3%.
Despite the coronavirus-shaped elephant in the boardroom, SMA felt confident enough to predict full-year sales growth of €1-1.1 billion and Ebitda of €50-80 million.