Turbulent times for First Solar

Over recent days North American First Solar has undergone in-depth changes and continue to go through some turbulence.

The restructuring program started by the company includes the closing of the German factory and a renewed approach to the Asian market. First Solar has manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and possible plans for a factory in Vietnam. Nevertheless the project was postponed in autumn 2011.

As Energetica India mentioned previously, the company just announced the appointment of Sujoy Ghosh as Country Head to lead business development in India and manage the Company’s new entity based in New Delhi. First Solar considers India as a land of immense opportunity for solar energy .

On 3rd of May James Hughes was appointed the new Chief Executive Officer of the company . His predecessor Mike Ahearn, First Solar\'s founder and Chairman , expressed during the presentation of James Hughes that “we are entering in a new era for the solar industry”.

The same day the company published surprisingly disappointing financial results for the first quarter of 2012. Net sales were $497 million in the quarter, a decrease of $163 million from the fourth quarter of 2011, primarily due to lower volumes for module-only sales, and $70 million below the first quarter of 2011, primarily due to lower average selling prices and lower volumes for module-only sales, which was partially offset by higher systems revenue.

\"First Solar\'s performance in the quarter was impacted by an aggressive competitive environment resulting from persistent supply-demand imbalances in the market, as well as restructuring costs that will improve our operating efficiency and help position us for the future,\" said Mike Ahearn, Chairman of the Board. \"Looking forward, we are confident we have the right long-term strategy and the right platform to enable long-term growth and value creation. We believe that by executing our strategic roadmaps and completing our restructuring program we can achieve our targets of 2.6 to 3.0 GW of sales in sustainable markets, earning a return on invested capital of 13 to 17 percent by 2016.\"
Business | News published on 04/05/2012 by Gisela Bühl

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