March 25, 2013 – The revenue and earnings figures from operations published by Centrosolar Group AG in February have been firmed up. However all business figures quoted below are still provisional. The revenue of the Centrosolar Group thus reached EUR 227 million, down approx. 22% on the previous year's total of EUR 293 million. The main factor behind the substantial drop is the continuing pressure on prices in the industry, as in the previous year. On the other hand, the volume of solar modules sold actually rose slightly.
Increased pressure of competition likewise affected the solar glass operations, which experienced falling market prices but also lower volumes. In order to realise synergies in the latter area through the closer linking-up of the glass finishing lines to raw glass melting furnaces, it is intended to dispose of this division. This area will therefore be reported as discontinued operations in the Consolidated Financial Statements. The discontinued solar glass operations contributed revenue of EUR 38.5 million.
The revenue for the continuing operations came to EUR 188.9 million, or 19.5 % down on the prior-year figure for the relevant operations (EUR 234.7 million). The mainly price-driven fall in revenue was behind the reduced gross profit, which is by and large responsible for the downturn in the operating result at EBITDA level from EUR -10.4 million in the previous year to EUR -16.4 million in 2012. The net result was significantly down on the previous year's EUR -16.8 million at EUR -73.6 million. The main determining factor here alongside the poorer EBITDA was the deterioration in the discontinued glass operations from EUR 2.2 million in the previous year to EUR -12.6 million, reported in the financial result, as well as the extraordinary impairments of goodwill amounting to EUR -32.0 million (previous year EUR 0 million). These impairments have been necessitated by the downward revision of the group companies' targets as a result of the difficult situation in the industry, and also because the cost of capital underlying the valuations have been raised.
At the reporting date, the company had cash and cash equivalents of EUR 18.3 million (previous year EUR 25.9 million). Group equity has fallen from EUR 79.2 million to EUR 6.1 million as a result of the high goodwill impairment, the negative contribution from the discontinued glass operations and the negative operating result for the continuing operations.
Centrosolar Group AG therefore gives notice of a loss pursuant to Section 92 (1) of the German Stock Corporation Act. In its separate financial statements to German Commercial Code (HGB), Centrosolar Group AG reports a loss after taxes of EUR 89.4 million which has used up more than half of the share capital. Shareholders’ equity acc. to HGB is EUR 3.1 million, compared with EUR 60.6 million in the previous year. The loss results principally from the write-down of investments in and receivables from group companies due to the above changes in targets and the cost of capital.
Publication of the Annual Report is being postponed due to the exceptionally high compilation and auditing requirements. Nevertheless, the comprehensive restructuring measures announced on February 19, 2013 will continue. In accordance with the statutory requirements the Management Board will call an extraordinary shareholders' meeting to propose, among other things, a simplified capital reduction, a capital increase for contribution in kind involving the contribution of the BondM-listed bond with a nominal value of EUR 50 million, and a capital increase for cash as announced. A corresponding creditors' meeting for the BondM-listed bond will likewise shortly be called. As well as the capital measures, the restructuring measures include the far-reaching restructuring of operations as well as financial contributions by the financing banks, lessor and the management.
Overall, the company cannot be satisfied with the earnings and financial situation. Looking at the situation of its competitors, the management nevertheless believes that the operating result for the continuing operations shows these to be comparatively less of a loss-making venture, which it attributes to the better strategic position that the company holds in relative terms. The management assumes that Centrosolar will pull through this industry crisis and that there will once again be very good business opportunities in the future market of photovoltaics.