28.03.2013 - aleo solar AG today published its 2012 annual report, confirming the preliminary revenue of EUR 279.9 million announced earlier, which represents a decline of 39 percent compared to the previous year (EUR 461.8 million).
The 2012 financial year closed with earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR –77.0 million (2011: EUR –30.5 million; the preliminary announcement was approx. EUR –74 million). The EBIT margin dropped to –27.5 percent (2011: –6.6 percent) and earnings per share fell to EUR –6.48 (2011: EUR –2.47).
aleo solar AG had to contend with an extremely difficult industry environment in financial year 2012. Demand in many of its European core markets contracted and there was no let-up in the massive erosion of solar module prices. aleo solar AG responded to this development by restructuring the company: The avim solar joint venture with module production in China was dissolved and the Spanish plant was closed. This generated high one-off expenses, which depressed EBIT. “We had to close two plants in order to produce more efficiently,” said York zu Putlitz, CEO of aleo solar AG. “Now we are concentrating module production on our Prenzlau plant.” At Prenzlau, aleo solar AG has been producing its new High Efficiency modules since the beginning of 2013.
Last Friday, aleo solar AG was informed by its majority shareholder Robert Bosch GmbH that Bosch intends to withdraw from the crystalline photovoltaic market and therefore will be disposing of its holding in aleo solar AG. Bosch currently holds a 90.7% stake in aleo solar. Independently of this sale, Robert Bosch GmbH has assured aleo solar AG of financing until the end of March 2014.
Despite the Bosch Group's announced withdrawal from photovoltaics, aleo solar AG has strengths that are valuable for the future, emphasised York zu Putlitz: "We enhanced our productivity with the help of the Bosch Group’s expertise in manufacturing. We will continue to offer quality modules made in Germany through our own sales network." Besides Germany, Italy, France and Greece remain the company’s most important sales markets. Business in the USA is scheduled to grow further. Foreign business accounted for around 58 percent of revenue in 2012. In order for our more than 2,100 specialist dealers and fitters to be able to succeed in the increasingly complex photovoltaic business, aleo solar provides its partners with comprehensive services and training courses.
aleo solar AG expects 2013 to be another difficult year. Radical cuts in feed-in tariffs were made in some key European markets. For this reason, aleo solar AG expect to see the number of new installations fall in its most important sales markets accompanied by a decrease in revenue. In addition, the company anticipates that competition will remain intense even though the erosion in solar module prices is likely to abate. aleo solar AG therefore expects to record a substantial net loss again for financial year 2013.
The Supervisory Board elected Dr Stefan Hartung as its new chairman on 19 March 2013. Due to his leaving the management of Robert Bosch GmbH, the previous chairman, Dr Siegfried Dais, had stepped down from the Supervisory Board. Dr Jens Sabotke will be leaving the Management Board of aleo solar AG effective 31 March 2013. His responsibilities will be assumed by the current plant manager in Prenzlau: Günter Schulze will be joining the Management Board of aleo solar AG as CTO effective 1 April 2013. The Chairman of the Management Board of aleo solar AG wishes to thank Dr Siegfried Dais and Dr Jens Sabotke for their valuable and constructive cooperation.