SolarWorld AG confirms leap in 2007 operating profit
Bonn, March 13th, 2008 - SolarWorld AG increased profits and sales group-wide in double digits in fiscal year 2007. In the presentation of its Group Management Report the group confirms the results announced by way of the ad hoc announcements. Accordingly, group sales went up by 35.6 percent over the previous year to 698.8 (previous year: 515.2) million EUR. The operating result before interest and tax (EBIT) climbed by 48.6 percent to 174.5 (previous year: 117.4) million EUR while the operating profit before tax rose by 27.8 percent to 151.6 (previous year: 118.6) million EUR. The net operating profit rose by 33.7 percent to 97.3 (previous year 72.8) million EUR. All figures include discontinued operations (Gällivare PhotoVoltaic AB) and exclude special effects. If the special effects are included the group reached a net profit for the year of 113.3 (previous year: 130.6) million EUR.
"In line with the increase in our operating profit we again want shareholders to participate in our business success," says Dipl.-Ing. Frank H. Asbeck, Chairman and CEO of SolarWorld AG. "We will therefore propose to the Annual General Meeting a dividend increased to 0.14 (previous year: 0.10) EUR per share."
Also for the current year the Executive Board is expecting the group-wide growth to continue. "For the operating result before interest and tax (EBIT) we are expecting a growth rate of between 25 and 30 percent on the basis of the 2007 adjusted EBIT (only continued operations) of 171 million EUR," continues Frank H. Asbeck. Group-wide sales are also expected to rise by 25 to 30 percent while the rate of international business will go up to 60 (previous year: 49) percent.
The business year under review was marked by the successful international expansion of the solar business. "We have significantly strengthened our worldwide presence thus successfully developing the acquisitions of the previous years," concluded Frank H. Asbeck the summary of the year just ended. "At this point I like quoting Arthur Schnitzler: ‚Being ready is good; being able to wait is better; but being able to use the right moment is the best."
CFO Dipl.-Kfm. tech. Philipp Koecke referred to the sound financial situation of the company. "After our expansion policy of the last few years we are excellently positioned by international standards with an equity ratio of in excess of 40 percent. This is a reliable basis for further growth. The group can build on a sound liquidity basis. At year-end the liquid funds amounted to 792.9 million EUR."
SolarWorld takes first place in Deloitte ranking on the reporting of sustainable performance indicators
SolarWorld AG was already honored for its 2006 reporting within the framework of a study by the auditing and business consulting company Deloitte as an excellent example of good reporting on "Sustainable Development Key Performance Indicators" (SD-KPIs) by being awarded first place. Non-financial factors contribute to the success of the company on a significant scale. The SD-KPIs mentioned in the study are in the opinion of the interviewed capital market professionals of particular importance to the business development, the situation and the predicted development of the company. SolarWorld AG is at the top of the TOP 12 followed by TUI and BASF.
A+ Rating through Global Reporting Initiative for sustainability reporting 2007
For fiscal year 2007 SolarWorld AG published for the first time an annual report with an integrated sustainability report drawn up according to the international standard for sustainable reporting (Global Reporting Initiative/ GRI). This report received the GRI rating A+ as it was audited externally by an audit company and in the second instance by the GRI itself for completeness and for the correctness of the information provided. "As a global company we are committed to meeting the challenge of a sustainable development," says Frank Asbeck "For us sustainability means that economic, ecological and social aspects are consistently implemented from the vision and the strategy right down to the level of the operational business processes."
Successful environmental management certification according to ISO 14001 in Bonn and Freiberg
At its locations in Freiberg and Bonn the group has expanded its quality management system by adding an environmental management system. In February 2008 the system was successfully certified by an external certification company. The enhanced environmental management system makes it possible for the company to reduce the environmental effects of products and processes by way of a systematic approach and additionally to integrate and improve the environmental performance in the implementation of the corporate strategy.
International invitation to SolarWorld Junior Einstein Award issued
The invitation to the third Junior Einstein Award is going out to international higher education establishments. SolarWorld awards this prize annually to junior engineers for outstanding scientific work in the field of solar power technology. The presentation of the award will take place in early September on the occasion of the international Photovoltaic Conference in Valencia/ Spain. Applications must be received by 31 July 2008 (for further information please go to the website www.einstein-award.de).
About SolarWorld AG
SolarWorld AG manufactures solar power systems and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The company, located in Bonn, employs approximately 2,500 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro, Ore. From raw material silicon to the solar module, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. Through an international distribution network, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world with solar modules and complete systems. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe, and has committed itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld has been publicly traded on the stock market since 1999. More information at www.solarworld-usa.com
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