Centrosolar Chief Predicts Record Profit, Revenue Next Year

Centrosolar Group AG sales and profit next year will rise to records on demand for residential solar panels and lower production costs, said Chief Executive Officer Alexander Kirsch.

“We will exceed the record year of 2008,” when the Munich-based company posted sales of 333 million euros ($499 million) and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 21.4 million euros, Kirsch said today at an investors conference in Frankfurt.

Centrosolar sells solar modules and mounting systems to installers of residential units in Europe. It also sells its anti-reflective glass, which increases the ability of modules to absorb sunlight, to module manufacturers including Japan’s Kyocera Corp. (6971) and Evergreen Solar in the U.S.

Kirsch said subsidies for home installations in Germany, paid to encourage use of solar-generated electricity, will be reduced by the new coalition government because module prices have fallen faster than lawmakers anticipated. The cuts won’t hurt installations, he said.

“We all expect that feed-in tariffs will be cut,” Kirsch said, referring to the rates utilities pay to take power from commercial solar producers or households that generate more than they need. Most of the cuts will fall on large commercial parks, not Centrosolar’s core residential business, Kirsch said. Commercial solar parks order cheaper modules built outside Germany, and the German government is unlikely to want to subsidize foreign module makers, he said.

Next year’s rebound will follow sales this year as low as 280 million euros, Kirsch said, confirming the company’s 2009 forecast. Ebitda will fall to as low as 6 million euros because of inventory writedowns and charges from a closed joint venture with Qimonda AG, the German semiconductor maker that declared involvency in January, Kirsch said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joseph Mapother in Frankfurt at jmapother1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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