(Originally published on InspiredEconomist.com)
Generating revenue of RMB 12,927.4 million, or US$ 2,083.5 million, Chinese solar giant Yingli Green Energy recorded a gross profit of 53.4% for 2014. PV module shipments rose 17% in 2014, as the world’s leading supplier shipped a whopping 3.3 GW of PV modules to solar markets around the globe.
To date, more than 40 million Yingli Solar panels, representing more than 10 GW, have been shipped to over 50 countries, including Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, France, South Korea, China, Japan, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Mexico and the United States. Headquartered in Baoding, China, Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited (NYSE: YGE) has more than 30 regional subsidiaries and branch offices around the world. Yingli Green Energy’s mission? “To provide affordable green energy for all.”
Yingli Solar Concluding “Another Solid Year”
Well on its way to meeting its mission statement, Yingli Solar recently released its full year 2014 results. Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy, announced, “We are pleased to conclude another solid year in 2014, with full year module shipments hitting a record high of 3.3 GW and full year gross margin increasing to 17.3% from 10.9% in 2013.” Mr. Miao continued, explaining that this was “mainly attributable to our continuous efforts to diversify our market presence, reduce manufacturing cost and improve our profitability.”
Significant data included in Yingli Solar’s full Year 2014 consolidated financial and operating summary are as follows:
• Total net revenues were RMB 12,927.4 million (US$ 2,083.5 million).
• Total PV module shipments (including shipments for PV systems) were 3,361.3 MW.
• Gross profit was RMB 2,238.2 million (US$ 360.7 million), representing a gross margin of 17.3 %.
• Operating loss was RMB 215.2 million (US$ 34.7 million), representing negative 1.7% of operating margin.
• On an adjusted non-GAAP basis, earnings before interest, tax expenses, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were RMB 1,114.4 million (US$ 246.1 million).
Comparing 2014 With 2013
Yingli Solar’s gross profit and gross margin in 2014 were RMB 2,238.2 million, or US$ 360.7 million, and 17.3%. This was a significant improvement over 2013, with RMB 1,458.9 million and 10.9%. According to the Yingli Solar financial statement, “The significant increase of both gross profit and gross margin were primarily due to the decreased cost of PV module as a result of the Company’s continuous efforts on cost reduction through all processes of PV module manufacturing.”
Total net revenues for Yingli Solar in 2014 were RMB 12,927.4 million, or US$ 2,083.5 million, compared to RMB 13,418.1 million in 2013. The decrease in total net revenues year-over-year, according to Yingli Solar, was “mainly due to a decline in revenues from sale of PV systems recognized in 2014.”
Total PV module shipments in 2014, which included 260.6 MW shipments for PV systems used for Yingli Solar’s own downstream power plants in China, were 3,361.3 MW, compared to 3,234.3 MW in 2013. In 2013, Yingli records note that there were no shipments for its own downstream power plants in China.
2014 Yingli Solar Highlights
Chairman and CEO Miao recapped the highlights of 2014 for Yingli Solar, stating, “In parallel with the sustainable evolution of solar industry in 2014, we continued to witness strong demand for Yingli Solar modules from China, Japan, the United States, the Europe and other new emerging markets.” Mr. Miao listed the many successes Yingli Solar enjoyed in prominent international solar markets. Among these were:
• The China market accelerated in the second half of 2014, accounting for around 37% of Yingli Solar’s total shipments for the full year.
• In Japan, our shipments nearly tripled with a more than 50% increase in the number of customers.
• In the United States, we had a solid year notwithstanding the uncertainty brought by the new trade case.
• In Europe, we continued to play an important role while navigating the complexities of the undertaking agreement.
“In addition,” noted Mr. Miao, “we continued to expand in new emerging markets with total shipments to these markets increased 90% year over year to 490 MW. Given our strong brand recognition and high-quality PV modules and services, we became the sole solar panel supplier for the largest solar power projects in Malaysia, Bolivia and Honduras.”
1.6 GW of PV Projects in the Pipeline
“We were also on track to meet our guidelines for downstream business,” Mr. Miao pointed out. “In 2014, we shipped 261 MW of PV modules to our own downstream power plants in China.”
Yingli Solar currently has over 1.6 GW of PV projects in its pipeline, all at varying stages of approval across many Chinese provinces. 73.7 MW of PV modules were shipped by Yingli Solar in the fourth quarter of 2014 to its own PV projects in China. For the full year of 2014, the total shipments to its own PV projects reached 260.6 MW.
With the global acceleration of solar project development, Yingli Solar stated that it expects to ship 400–600 MW of PV modules to its own downstream PV projects in 2015. Also, based on its project construction schedule, Yingli Solar expects this 400–600 MW of downstream PV projects to be connected to the grid by the end of 2015.
Looking Ahead to Full Year 2015
Based on current market and operating conditions, Yingli Solar is expecting that the global PV demand will continue to grow at a healthy rate in 2015. Considering estimated production capacity and forecasted customer demand, the company expects its 2015 PV module shipment target to be in the estimated range of 3.6 GW to 3.9 GW. This range includes the 400–600 MW to be shipped to its own downstream power plants. Yingli Solar points out that its PV module shipment target represents an increase of 7.1% to 16.0%, compared to fiscal year 2014.
“Looking ahead,” Yingli Solar Chairman and CEO Liansheng Miao concluded, “we believe that the global PV market will continue to grow in 2015, especially after the National Energy Administration of China released the official solar installation target for 2015 of 17.8 GW in March 2015. We’re encouraged by the good news and well positioned to seize this great opportunity,”