SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, May 21 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Suntech Power
Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's largest crystalline silicon
photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer, today announced financial results for
its first fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2009.
First Quarter 2009 Highlights
-- Total net revenues were $315.7 million in the first quarter of 2009
-- Gross margin improved to 17.8% for the first quarter of 2009, compared
with 0.6% for the fourth quarter of 2008.
-- Operating expenses were reduced by 24% to $35.1 million in the first
quarter of 2009 from $46.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.
-- Net income attributable to holders of ordinary shares was $1.8 million
or $0.01 per diluted American Depository Share (ADS). Each ADS
represents one ordinary share.
-- Suntech submitted 179MW of rooftop solar project applications for
China's national rooftop solar subsidy.
-- 100MW of Pluto production capacity commissioned with expected
conversion efficiencies of approximately 19% on mono-crystalline PV
cells and 17% on multi-crystalline PV cells.
-- Suntech maintained PV cell production capacity of 1GW at the end of the
first quarter of 2009.
"Considering the impact of seasonality, global economic headwinds, a
contraction in PV project financing and falling sales prices, which greatly
affected companies throughout the solar industry, we are pleased to have
achieved revenues only 24% below the fourth quarter of 2008. This indicates
the flexibility of Suntech's business model and customer preference for
Suntech products," said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's Chairman and CEO. "We are
also pleased to have delivered a substantial sequential improvement in our
gross margin, which demonstrates the success of our initiatives to reduce raw
material costs and improve our non-silicon cost structure."
Dr. Shi added, "Europe continued to be the greatest source of solar demand
in the first quarter. Going forward we expect further market diversification
due to recently introduced stimulus initiatives in high potential markets.
China's recently announced national solar subsidy; Japan's reintroduction of
solar subsidies in 2009; and state incentive programs and the federal stimulus
package in the U.S. should provide a strong foundation for mid-term growth.
Suntech is uniquely positioned to address growth opportunities in all three of
these markets through our 100-strong systems integration team in China, our
Japanese subsidiary, and our multi-pronged downstream strategy in the U.S. We
are already seeing the benefits of these initiatives with a 30MW utility scale
solar project for Austin Energy in the U.S and our 30MW agreement to supply
House Care with solar products in Japan."
"We are also making excellent progress with our global project development
initiatives that will drive long term demand for Suntech solar projects. The
Global Solar Fund has invested in companies that currently have 240MW of
projects fully permitted and is targeting to finalize permits for at least
another 360MW by the end of 2009. In addition, Gemini Solar is pursuing a
pipeline of approximately 1.1GW of projects in the U.S. that we have either
bid on, or are preparing bids for, and which are scheduled to be developed
over the next 3 or 4 years."
"In this challenging economic environment, customers have an even greater
focus on quality and track record - two areas where Suntech excels. We have
now shipped more than 1,200MW of product since our inception and adhere to
industry leading quality standards. With our mature sales channels, premium
brand, high quality modules, and record of successful projects, we believe
Suntech is a supplier of choice and best positioned to grow market share in
this challenging market," concluded Dr. Shi.
RECENT BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS
Project Development Initiatives
-- Suntech made significant progress with its strategic project
development initiatives. Suntech's equity method investment, the Global
Solar Fund (GSF), a European based investment fund, which qualifies for
investment company fair value accounting under AICPA investment company
guide, was created to make investments in private companies that own or
develop projects in the solar energy sector. GSF has invested in
companies that currently have 240MW of projects fully permitted and is
targeting to finalize permits for another 360MW by the end of 2009.
-- Gemini Solar, a Suntech joint venture with Renewable Ventures, a
Fotowatio company, is pursuing a pipeline of approximately 1.1GW of
projects in the U.S. that we have either bid on, or are preparing bids
for, and which are scheduled to be developed over the next 3 or 4 years.
-- Suntech recently submitted 179MW of rooftop solar project applications
for China's national rooftop solar subsidy.
-- Suntech announced the ground breaking of a 1.5MW rooftop solar project
in HuaiAn City, Jiangsu Province, China. This is expected to be the
first one megawatt plus rooftop solar system in Jiangsu Province.
Suntech is currently implementing a 3MW project for the Shanghai World
Global Market Penetration
-- Suntech has shipped a total of more than 1.2GW of solar products since
inception of the Company.
-- Suntech intends to double its sales and marketing team in Europe over
the next three to six months to enhance localized service and support
for existing and prospective customers. Europe continues to drive
global solar demand accounting for over 80% of Suntech revenues in the
first quarter of 2009.
-- Suntech entered into an agreement with House Care Co. Ltd. under which
House Care will be an authorized distributor of Suntech in Japan and
distribute 30MW of Suntech solar products in 2009. Suntech targets over
40MW of sales into Japan in 2009.
-- Gemini Solar was awarded a contract by Austin Energy, the municipal
electric utility in Austin, Texas, to build a 30MW PV power plant in
-- Suntech continued to expand its national dealer network in the U.S to
expand market share in the residential and small commercial rooftop
segment. Currently, Suntech's network includes over 200 dealers, up
from 40 at the end of 2008.
-- Suntech recently announced plans to establish a manufacturing base in
the U.S. as part of its strategy to create a long-term presence within
-- The Fraunhofer Institute recently tested a mono-crystalline Pluto PV
cell with a conversion efficiency of 18.8% and a multi-crystalline
Pluto PV cell with a conversion efficiency of 17.2%. Both were produced
using standard grade silicon solar wafers on Suntech's commercial scale
-- Suntech is collaborating with the Swinburne University of Technology in
Australia to develop nanoplasmonic solar cells that are twice as
efficient and run at half the cost of those currently available.
Convertible Senior Note Repurchase
-- Through March 31, 2009, Suntech repurchased an aggregate of $244.2
million principal amount of its 0.25% Convertible Senior Notes due 2012
for a total consideration of $190.9 million. Suntech currently has
$255.8 million principal amount of 2012 convertible notes outstanding.
First Quarter 2009 Results
Total net revenues for the first quarter of 2009 were $315.7 million, a
decrease of 23.8% from $414.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. The
sequential decrease in revenues was primarily due to a decrease in the average
selling price of PV products and a decline of shipments.
Total net revenues to the investee companies of GSF were $100.5 million in
the first quarter of 2009. It mainly reflected the sales of PV products to two
investment projects held by the GSF. Sales to the investee companies of GSF
were conducted under terms comparable to those with unrelated parties; and the
revenue and profit related to the sales activities during the first quarter of
2009 were fully recognized during the same period.
For the first quarter of 2009 gross profit was $56.3 million and gross
margin was 17.8% compared to gross profit of $2.3 million and gross margin of
0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2008. The increase in gross profit was primarily
due to a decrease in silicon wafer cost, non-silicon wafer production costs,
and a reduction in inventory provision.
Operating expenses for the first quarter of 2009 were $35.1 million
compared to $46.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. The decrease in
operating expenses was primarily due to improved cost controls, enhanced
operating efficiency and a reversal of provision for doubtful debts.
Income from operations was $21.1 million for the first quarter of 2009
compared to a loss from operations of $43.8 million in the fourth quarter of
Net interest expense was $21.6 million in the first quarter of 2009
compared to net interest expense of $21.1 million in the fourth quarter of
2008. Addition of non-cash interest expense resulted from the adoption of FASB
Staff Position No APB14-1, "Accounting for Convertible Debt Instruments That
May Be Settled in Cash upon Conversion (Including Partial Cash Settlement)"
("FSP APB14-1"), and amounted to $11.7 million and $13.1 million in the first
quarter of 2009 and the fourth quarter of 2008, respectively.
Foreign currency exchange loss was $6.2 million in the first quarter of
2009 compared to a loss of $3.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Net other income was $12.6 million in the first quarter of 2009, compared
with $52.0 million of net other expense in the fourth quarter of 2008. The net
other income in the first quarter of 2009 was mainly due to $9.3 million in
gains from the convertible senior notes repurchase and $3.2 million in gains
from mark-to-market valuation of foreign exchange forward contracts. The net
other expense during the fourth quarter of 2008 was primarily due to
investment impairments in Suntech's upstream investments.
Net income attributable to holders of ordinary shares for the first
quarter of 2009 was $1.8 million, or $0.01 per diluted ADS compared to a net
loss of $109.1 million, or negative $0.70 per diluted ADS, in the fourth
quarter of 2008.
In the first quarter of 2009, the major non-cash related expenses were
share-based compensation charges of $4.0 million; additional $11.7 million of
non-cash interest expenses related to the adoption of FSP APB 14-1; and
depreciation and amortization expenses of $15.3 million.
In the first quarter of 2009, capital expenditures, which were primarily
mainly for the construction of our thin film production facilities in Shanghai,
and to retrofit our existing production capacity to enable production of PV
modules based on our high efficiency Pluto technology, totaled $60.9 million.
Cash and cash equivalents decreased to $406.0 million as of March 31, 2009
from $507.8 million as of December 31, 2008. The decrease was primarily due to
repurchases of Suntech's 0.25% Convertible Senior Notes due 2012.
Restricted cash increased to $179.1 million as of March 31, 2009 from
$70.7 million as of December 31, 2008. The increase was mainly due to the
pledges of cash in order to obtain bank notes facilities and loan borrowings.
Account receivable due from investee companies of GSF was $104.9 million
as of March 31, 2009, compared with nil as of December 31, 2008.
Suntech expects moderate revenue growth in the second quarter of 2009.
Suntech expects full-year 2009 shipments to be in the range of 600MW to 700MW
reflecting a constrained project financing environment and the resultant
limited demand visibility. Suntech intends to hold PV cell production capacity
at 1GW in 2009 until demand visibility improves. Suntech expects capital
expenditures of approximately $100 million in 2009.
Recent Management Hires
Mr. Wei-Tai Kwok joined Suntech in the role of Vice President of Marketing,
Suntech America. Mr. Kwok brings over 20 years of experience in global
marketing to Suntech America, where he will be responsible for field marketing,
marketing communications, product marketing and strategic alliances.
Previously, Mr. Kwok was responsible for new business development and client
management as San Francisco Managing Director at Molecular, the ebusiness
solutions division of Isobar, one of the largest digital marketing networks in
the world and a wholly owned subsidiary of Aegis Group PLC. Reflective of Mr.
Kwok's commitment to environmental issues and corporate social responsibility,
he is a founding board member of the U.S.-China Green Energy Council, a non-
governmental think tank established to search for global solutions for
combating global warming, energy security, and environmental pollution.
Mr. Kent Huang joined Suntech as Regional General Counsel, Asia Pacific,
and is responsible for all operational legal issues in that region. With a
legal career spanning almost two decades, Mr. Huang has spent the last 12
years managing the legal infrastructure supporting the Greater China
operations of Unilever PLC. Mr. Huang received his law degree from the East
China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai and is currently
undertaking an EMBA with the China European International Business School.
First Quarter 2009 Conference Call Information
Suntech management will host a conference call today, Thursday, May 21,
2009 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time (which corresponds to 8:00 p.m. Beijing/Hong
Kong time and 12:00 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time on May 22, 2009) to discuss the
To access the conference call, please dial +1-617-213-8845 (for U.S.
callers) or +852-3002-1672 (for international callers) and ask to be connected
to the Suntech earnings conference call. A live and archived webcast of the
conference call will be available on Suntech's website at
http://www.suntech-power.com under Investor Center: Financial Events.
A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until June 11,
2009 by dialing +1-617-801-6888 (passcode: 70540414).
Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP) is the world's leading solar
energy company as measured by production output of crystalline silicon solar
modules. Suntech designs, develops, manufactures, and markets premium-quality,
high-output, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solar products for
electric power applications in the residential, commercial, industrial, and
public utility sectors. Suntech's patent-pending Pluto technology for
crystalline silicon solar cells improves power output by up to 12% compared to
conventional production methods.
Suntech also offers one of the broadest ranges of building-integrated
solar products under the MSK Solar Design Line(TM). Suntech designs and
delivers commercial and utility scale solar power systems through its wholly
owned subsidiaries Suntech Energy Solutions and Suntech Energy Engineering and
will own and operate projects greater than 10 megawatts in the United States
through Gemini Solar Development Company, a joint venture with Renewable
Ventures, a Fotowatio company. With regional headquarters in China,
Switzerland and San Francisco and sales offices worldwide, Suntech is
passionate about improving the environment we live in and dedicated to
developing advanced solar solutions that enable sustainable development. For
more information, please visit http://www.suntech-power.com .
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements
constitute "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of
the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can
be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates,"
"future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements,
and includes our ability to maintain profitability in 2009, our ability to
address demand growth in each of China, Japan and the U.S., the ability of GSF
and Gemini Solar to close transactions in their related pipelines, our ability
to develop new technology in collaboration with the Swinburne University of
Technology, estimated Q2 2009 revenue and gross margin, and estimated full
year 2009 shipments and capital expenditures. Such statements involve certain
risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially
from those in the forward-looking statements. Further information regarding
these and other risks is included in Suntech's filings with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 20-F.
Suntech does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking
statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except
as required under applicable law.
Note: The quarterly consolidated income statements are unaudited. The
condensed consolidated balance sheets are derived from Suntech's
unaudited consolidated financial statements. Effective January 1, 2009,
as a result of the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting
Standards, or SFAS 160, Non-controlling Interests in Consolidated
Financial Statements - An Amendment of ARB No. 51.and FASB Staff Position
No. APB 14-1, Accounting for Convertible Debt Instruments that May be
Settled in Cash upon Conversion (Including Partial Cash Settlement), our
condensed consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2008 has been re-
casted for comparable purpose. The following tables set forth the
adjusted unaudited condensed consolidated balance sheet as of December
31, 2008, the unaudited condensed consolidated balance sheet as of March
31, 2009, the adjusted unaudited condensed consolidated income statements
for the three months ended March 31, 2008 and December 31, 2008 and the
unaudited condensed consolidated income
SUNTECH POWER HOLDINGS CO., LTD.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
As of As of As of
March 31, December 31,December 31,
2009 2008 2008
As adjusted As reported
Cash and cash equivalents 405,995 507,789 507,789
Restricted cash 179,134 70,710 70,710
Inventories 242,690 231,874 231,874
Accounts receivable - Investee
companies of GSF 104,940 -- --
Accounts receivable - Others 160,414 213,118 213,118
Value-added tax recoverable 87,099 75,667 75,667
Advances to suppliers 70,513 56,873 56,873
Other current assets 255,477 165,887 165,887
Total current assets 1,506,262 1,321,918 1,321,918
Property, plant and equipment, net 720,821 684,497 684,497
Intangible assets, net 163,619 176,677 176,677
Goodwill 80,930 87,595 87,595
Investments in affiliates 225,358 221,106 221,106
Long-term prepayments 195,346 248,807 248,807
Long-term loan to suppliers 56,150 83,972 83,972
Amount due from related parties 216,387 277,991 277,991
Other non-current assets 104,112 104,365 121,214
TOTAL ASSETS 3,268,985 3,206,928 3,223,777
LIABILITIES AND EQUITY
Short-term borrowings, including
current portion of long-term bank
borrowings 791,706 638,426 638,426
Accounts payable 153,382 117,499 117,499
Convertible notes-current 239,341 -- --
Other current liabilities 228,893 220,810 220,810
Total current liabilities 1,413,322 976,735 976,735
Long-term bank borrowings 17,486 5,894 5,894
Convertible notes-non-current 446,964 812,874 981,236
Accrued warranty costs 43,025 41,430 41,430
Other long-term liabilities 119,861 135,655 135,654
Total liabilities 2,040,658 1,972,588 2,140,949
Minority interest -- -- 8,478
Total equity 1,228,327 1,234,340 1,074,350
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY 3,268,985 3,206,928 3,223,777
SUNTECH POWER HOLDINGS CO., LTD.
CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENT
(In $'000, except share, per share, and per ADS data)
Three months Three months Three months
ended ended ended
March 31, December 31, March 31,
2008 2008 2009
As adjusted As adjusted
Total net revenues 434,514 414,413 315,656
- Investee companies of GSF -- -- 100,547
- Others 434,514 414,413 215,109
Total cost of revenues 338,107 412,068 259,369
Gross profit 96,407 2,345 56,287
Selling expenses 15,273 14,531 11,401
General and administrative expenses 16,499 27,112 18,820
Research and development expenses 2,792 4,529 4,923
Total operating expenses 34,564 46,172 35,144
Income/(loss) from operations 61,843 (43,827) 21,143
Interest expenses (18,120) (31,136) (26,743)
Interest income 5,041 10,073 5,098
Foreign exchange gain/(loss) 2,906 (3,190) (6,191)
Other (expense) income (804) (52,000) 12,567
Income/(loss) before income taxes 50,866 (120,080) 5,874
Tax provision (5,523) 11,073 78
Net income/(loss) after taxes
before noncontrolling interest and
equity in earnings of affiliates 45,343 (109,007) 5,952
Equity in (loss) earnings of
affiliates -- 287 (3,874)
Net income/(loss) 45,343 (108,720) 2,078
Add: Net loss (income) attributable
to non-controlling interest 1,346 (401) (292)
Net income/(loss) attributable to
holders of ordinary shares 46,690 (109,121) 1,786
Net income/(loss) attributable to
ordinary shareholders per share
and per ADS:
- Basic 0.30 (0.70) 0.01
- Diluted 0.27 (0.70) 0.01
Shares and ADSs used in
- Basic 153,124,488 155,880,532 155,881,265
- Diluted 173,770,151 155,880,532 156,794,603
Each ADS represents one ordinary share
For further information, please contact:
Investor Relations Director
In the United States:
Sanjay M. Hurry
The Piacente Group, Inc.