CENTROSOLAR has announced provisional figures for the 2012 financial year. As a result of the deepening crisis in the PV industry in 2012, provisional calculations show that revenue for the past financial year amounted to EUR 228 million (previous year EUR 293 million). In value terms this represents a decrease of 22 % that is attributable to falling prices, whereas the sales volume remained unchanged from the previous year. The EBITDA margin is expected to be between -8 % and -10 % of revenue (previous year -1.3 %). Net financial liabilities amounted to EUR 90 million (previous year EUR 69 million) at the balance sheet date. At the same date the company had cash and cash equivalents of EUR 18.3 million (previous year EUR 25.9 million). The final figures are due for publication on March 28, 2013.
In light of this situation the Management Board of CENTROSOLAR has agreed a comprehensive restructuring programme that envisages all parties concerned making significant contributions. The programme rests on three pillars:
1. Operational reorganisation: the company is to be significantly streamlined, to equip it to function well on a lower market volume. This will involve reducing costs over and above the measures already implemented last year. Among other things some administrative functions will now be handled centrally, and sales operations refocused. In addition, administrative operations in the holding company and the group companies will be significantly scaled back. Finally, senior management employees will be deferring a significant portion of their remuneration to help the company.
2. Balance sheet reconstruction: the company’s financial liabilities are to be reduced to below half the current level. The measures involved include converting the BondM-listed bond for a nominal EUR 50 million into shareholders’ equity in the form of shares. The collateralised financial creditors – banks and lessors – support this plan and are themselves prepared to contribute towards reconstruction. They have signalled their willingness to the company to defer interest and capital repayments in part, and to pledge financing until the end of 2014.
3. Capital strengthening: to boost the equity base and protect the existing shareholders against dilution, there are plans to raise fresh funding by way of a capital increase with subscription rights. Shares not taken up by existing shareholders are to be placed with new investors.
In the course of March, BondM creditors and shareholders will be informed of the plans to hold a creditors’ and shareholders’ meeting to resolve the proposed measures.
The Centrosolar Glas segment, which is run and financed independently, is likewise implementing a comprehensive programme of restructuring. This comprises capacity reductions at the German production location, supported by financial contributions by its financial creditors.
The strategy of international expansion and of focusing on higher-value systems for applications on private and industrial roofs will be retained, as this positioning remains the company’s strength. This was the key reason why CENTROSOLAR was able to maintain its sales volume in MWp at a stable level in a crisis-hit 2012, at a time when other competitors are reporting double-digit decreases in volume. The restructuring programme gives the company the necessary clout as the industry enters the consolidation phase, and will enable it to grow again once photovoltaics as a market of the future regains stability.