LONGi, the world’s leading solar technology company headquartered in Xi’an, released its business results for the first half of 2023. In the first half of 2023, LONGi generated CNY 64.652 billion in revenue, with a YoY increase of 28.36% and achieved CNY 9.178 billion in net profit attributable to shareholders of the listed company, with a YoY increase of 41.63%. In the first half of 2023, the company’s net profit growth far exceeded revenue growth, with a net profit of over CNY 5.5 billion in the second quarter, which is the best in a single quarter of history and demonstrates strong market competitiveness.
In the first half of 2023, with the rapid decline in upstream polycrystalline silicon material prices, the entire industry chain prices have been in a downward trend, and the profits of the industry chain will be redistributed. Companies with global comprehensive competitiveness and stable operations will demonstrate better resilience in this round of the industry cycle.
Silicon material value returns, industry investment return rises.
In the first half of 2023, the new production of silicon materials the upstream of photovoltaic industry continues to be released, driving down industry costs, stimulating the photovoltaic industry to maintain high growth, and maintaining strong demand in the terminal application market. The profit balance began to tilt towards the entire industrial chain, and the industrial chain production scheduling ushered in an upward turning point.
In the first half of 2023, LONGi achieved a shipment volume of 52.05 GW of monocrystalline silicon wafers, including 22.98 GW for external sales and 29.07 GW for internal use. LONGi also realized a shipment volume of 31.50 GW of monocrystalline solar cells, including 3.28 GW for external sales and 28.22 GW for internal use. LONGi also realized a shipment volume of 26.64 GW of monocrystalline modules, including 26.49 GW for external sales and 0.15GW for internal use. Except for LONGi, the performance of global photovoltaic companies has all increased, reflecting a competitive pattern of “only one super and multi-strong”.
At the same time, the return of silicon material value has led to a significant recovery in the investment yield of power plants, and the wait-and-see sentiment at the terminal has gradually dissipated. According to data from the National Energy Administration, China added 78.42 million kilowatts of solar power from January to June, with a cumulative installed capacity of 470 million kilowatts as of the end of June, officially becoming the second largest power source installed in China, second only to coal-fired power.
Technology iteration is accelerating, and differentiated products are becoming a trend.
The current technological route reserve of photovoltaic solar cells is abundant, and a stepped iteration route has been formed, and future costs will be further reduced. The mainstream technology directions after PERC include TOPCon, HJT, BC cells, etc. Although TOPCon cells are in the stage of mass production and large-scale expansion, the industry generally believes that their transitional properties are strong, and back contact technology batteries are highly sought after as future technologies.
Following the principle of “mass production, development, and exploration”. In the first half of 2023, with the release of the new high-power module Hi-MO 7 based on HPDC technology, LONGi has formed a product portfolio of “Hi-MO 5+Hi-MO 7” applied in the large-scale utility power plant market and Hi-MO 6 product focused on the distributed market, achieving differentiated product development. From 2012 to the first half of 2023, the company has invested over CNY 20 billion in research and development, which is the highest in the industry. During the reporting period, with authoritative certification from the European solar testing agency ESTI, LONGi achieved a conversion efficiency of 33.5% for crystalline silicon perovskite tandem solar cells on commercial CZ wafers, once again leading the industry.
LONGi stated that the company’s multiple high-efficiency solar cell technologies and products are already in the development, reserve, and pilot stages, and are accelerating the commercialization and mass production of high-efficiency technology research and development results at low cost.
Industry development is becoming increasingly rational.
According to industry associations, in the first half of 2023, the total export value of photovoltaic products reached USD 28.92 billion, a YoY increase of 11.6%. The industry generally believes that the driving force for global photovoltaic demand expansion in 2023 comes from important markets such as China, Europe, the United States, India, and Brazil, and emerging markets such as the Middle East are expected to take over the baton of rapid installed capacity growth in the European market. LONGi and other companies often participate in projects in the Middle East and other regions as suppliers.
The photovoltaic industry chain includes four main links: silicon materials, silicon wafers, battery cells, and components. Based on the predicted data of various mainstream institutions, the production capacity of these four links will exceed 800 GW by the end of 2023. Nowadays, the international trade environment is undergoing changes, with more localized supply chains and more complex trade barriers to China’s photovoltaic industry, resulting in uncertainty for imported photovoltaic products in international photovoltaic markets such as the United States, Europe, and India.
The uncertainty in the overseas market has triggered the industry to enter an “elimination race”, with some integrated enterprises and second-tier brands competing to gain customers and win orders. In the face of the current industrial cycle and future market uncertainty, during the reporting period, LONGi continued to promote efficient and stable operations to prevent operational risks. As of the end of June 2023, the company’s asset-liability ratio was 55.99%. Compared to the industry’s asset-liability ratio of 70% or even higher, LONGi has maintained good debt-paying ability, and the number of inventory turnover days has decreased by 13 days compared to the first half of 2022. The product competitiveness continues to strengthen.
As a technology and capital-intensive industry, photovoltaic has a stronger demand for rapid transformation of technological achievements and equipment updates. With the further opening up of domestic and international financing channels, enterprises in new energy, semiconductor and other tracks have joined the market, seizing market opportunities with the advantage of the industrial chain.
Recently, PV-Tech released the PV ModuleTech bankability report for the second quarter of 2023, and LONGi once again received the highest AAA ranking. This is the 14th consecutive quarter for the company to achieve this ranking, underlining its outstanding performance in terms of high-quality products and services, combined with financial strength and stability.