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March 4 (Bloomberg) -- Trina Solar Ltd., China’s second-largest photovoltaic panel maker, expects shipments of modules to increase as much as 47 percent this year on surging demand in Asia and the Middle East.

Trina forecasts shipments of 3.6 gigawatts to 3.8 gigawatts, up from 2.58 gigawatts last year, the company said in a statement today. It reduced its 2013 net loss 71 percent to $77.9 million. In the fourth quarter, it shipped 770 megawatts of modules and had a net income of $9.6 million.

“We are optimistic that solar PV demand will continue to be strong and expect China, Japan, as well as the broader Asia Pacific region and the Middle East to be key drivers,” Chief Executive Officer Jifan Gao said. “Our efforts to diversify our business beyond the traditional markets in Europe and the U.S. where we have maintained leading positions and into additional emerging markets have progressed well.”

Most large solar manufacturers are on the brink of becoming profitable, helped by a surge in demand from Asia and a stabilization of prices following two years of losses.

Competitor JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. posted its highest quarterly earnings in almost three years yesterday and also sees higher shipments this year. Canadian Solar Inc. will report tomorrow. Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., the biggest solar panel maker, reports on March 18.

Trina has 24 megawatts of solar power plants under construction in Europe and expects to complete them in the first half, it said. It’s seeking to develop more projects in Europe.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at

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