SMA Solar remains cautious on business in 2018

Major PV inverter manufacturer SMA Solar Technology has reiterated sales and earnings guidance for 2018, despite a rebound in its utility-scale business unit and growing energy storage sales.
The company expects global solar installation growth of approximately 7% to 109GW in 2018, with leading market China installing around 50GW, compared to over 53GW in 2017, according to official figures. SMA_Inverters
Total inverter shipments in the quarter were 1,843MW, down from the historically highest fourth quarter, when shipments reached 2,606MW, but increased notably from 1,661MW in the first quarter of 2017.
However, sales in the residential business unit were around 10% lower than in the prior year period. Revenue reported was €38.9 million. SMA Solar noted that inventory overhang within the supply chain in both Germany and Australia were primarily behind the sales decline in the first quarter of 2018.
The storage business unit was also a bright spot. SMA Solar reported sales of €19.9 million in the quarter, compared to €15.4 million in the prior year period. The Americas region was said to be responsible for 51.5% of sales, up from 43.2% in the prior year period.