Overview of 9M 2023:
- Sales increase to €1,337.4 million (9M 2022: €724.1 million)
- EBITDA of €231.2 million considerably higher than in previous year (9M 2022: €50.2 million)
- Improved profitability and positive earnings contribution from all segments
- Sustained high order backlog of €2.0 billion (September 30, 2022: €1.7 billion)
- Positive free cash flow of €78.6 million increases net cash to €302.8 million
- Managing Board confirms sales and earnings guidance for 2023, as raised again on October 4: sales of between €1,800 million and €1,900 million; EBITDA of between €285 million and €325 million
SMA Solar Technology AG successfully continued its dynamic growth course in the third quarter of 2023. The performance of the Large Scale & Project Solutions and Commercial & Industrial Solutions segments was especially positive, as expected. In the first nine months of 2023, consolidated sales increased by 84.7% overall to €1,337.4 million (9M 2022: €724.1 million). The Home Solutions segment more than doubled its sales to €486.2 million after the first nine months of the year (9M 2022: €229.3 million). The Commercial & Industrial Solutions segment also increased its sales significantly by 74.4%, from €191.3 million to €333.7 million. Sales in the Large Scale and Project Solutions segment were up considerably overall (by 70.5%) at €517.5 million compared with €303.5 million in the same period of the previous year.
The Group’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) also increased significantly by 360.6%, from €50.2 million to €231.2 million. This equates to an EBITDA margin of 17.3% (9M 2022: 6.9%). Reasons for this positive performance included an improvement in production capacity utilization and the associated fixed cost degression as a result of the increased sales volume. At €201.6 million, the Group’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were also significantly higher than in the same period of the previous year (9M 2022: €21.8 million). This equates to an EBIT margin of 15.1% (9M 2022: 3.0%).
All segments reported a positive result, with the Home Solutions segment continuing to lead the way. In addition, the Large Scale & Project Solutions segment, in particular, significantly improved its profitability performance once again in the third quarter. EBIT Home Solutions: €136.9 million (9M 2022: €35.4 million); Commercial & Industrial Solutions: €15.8 million (9M 2022: €−16.5 million); Large Scale & Project Solutions: €47.3 million (9M 2022: €−15.3 million).
“We are extremely satisfied with our business performance in the first nine months of the year,” said Dr. Jürgen Reinert, CEO of SMA. “Our growth across all segments indicates that we are on the right track with our clear focus on customer centricity and realignment of SMA along the core processes in the segments. The same applies for our strategic action areas such as storage solutions, which are becoming increasingly relevant for our customers. We’ve already successfully augmented our core business, for example, with our SMA Home Storage battery, which we unveiled in June at Intersolar.”
“Following a highly successfully first half of the year, we raised the Group’s sales and earnings momentum again in the third quarter of 2023,” said Barbara Gregor, CFO at SMA. “Alongside what is our most profitable Home Solutions segment, contributions to this performance were made by both the Large Scale & Project Solutions segment and the Commercial & Industrial Solutions segment, which both demonstrated an exceptionally strong operating performance and again tangibly improved their profitability.”
Net income increased significantly to €180.4 million (9M 2022: €11.0 million). Earnings per share rose to €5.20 (9M 2022: €0.32).
The SMA Group continues to have an exceptionally robust financial position, and generated positive free cash flow of €78.6 million in the first nine months of 2023. Net cash reached €302.8 million, and so remained well above the level observed at the end of the year (December 31, 2022: €220.1 million). At 41.1%, the equity ratio remained stable at the same level as was observed at the end of the year (December 31, 2022: 41.8%).
The order backlog remained at a very high level of €2,020.7 million as of September 30, 2023 (September 30, 2022: €1,712.8 million). At €1,647.0 million, more than three-quarters of this is attributable to product business (September 30, 2022: €1,288.9 million). Consequently, the product-related order backlog has decreased only marginally compared with December 31, 2022 (€1,700.7 million), despite the strong increase in sales and thanks to the excellent order intake in the first nine months of the fiscal year.
The SMA Managing Board confirms its sales and earnings guidance for the 2023 fiscal year, as adjusted upward again on October 4, 2023. It forecasts sales of between €1,800 million and €1,900 million (previously: €1,700 million and €1,850 million) and EBITDA of between €285 million and €325 million (previously: €230 million and €270 million).