SMA Solar Jumps in Frankfurt as U.S., Japan Sales Narrow Losses

SMA Solar Technology AG, a German solar company that’s cutting a third of its staff to reduce costs, rose to a three-week high in Frankfurt after first-quarter sales jumped and losses narrowed.

SMA climbed as much as 5.9 percent to 14.50 euros, the highest intraday level since April 23, after saying sales grew 28 percent to 226 million euros ($254 million) and a loss on earnings before interest and taxes narrowed to 5.4 million euros. Sales were driven by large-scale solar projects in North America, Japan, the U.K. and Australia, it said.

“With the sales generated and the order backlog at the end of the first quarter, we have already achieved more than 60 percent of our sales target for the year,” Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Pascal Urbon said. “The earnings situation developed better than planned, partly due to the reduction of fixed costs already initiated and to exchange rate effects.”

SMA, a Niestetal-based maker of inverters that convert power from solar panels for use on power grids, is cutting jobs to counter weak prices, with plans to return to profit next year after EBIT losses of as much as 60 million euros in 2015.

It plans to boost sales through a partnership with Danfoss A/S and by selling more inverters in the U.S. and Japan.

SMA rose 5.1 percent to 14.385 euros by 9:37 a.m. in Frankfurt.

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