FRANKFURT/MADRID (Reuters) – European renewable companies posted moderate to sharp declines in quarterly results but sounded more upbeat for 2010, as costs cuts and an expected pickup in demand help lift profits after a year of turmoil.
Three of Germany’s top solar energy companies said they expected to either return to or grow profits next year following a year of weak economic demand, reduced government subsidies and bruising price competition from low-cost Asian rivals.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German wind park developer PNE Wind aims to generate a quarter of its sales in the United States in three year’s time, its chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday.
“Our goal is to generate 25 percent of sales there in three years,” Martin Billhardt said in an interview. The company does not provide a regional breakdown of sales, but its declared goal is to broaden its position in the United States, which is set to benefit from large subsidies for renewable energy.
LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Small wind energy companies could be taken over cheap because fresh funding for the sector is set to flow selectively to bigger names, placing them in a stronger negotiating position.
Analysts say the big firms are unwilling to pay premiums for the “pipeline” projects at the smaller players — wind farms approved or awaiting construction — which are normally added to current operating assets to arrive at a valuation.
FRANKFURT, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Banks led European stocks
higher on Friday, following quarterly results from Royal Bank of
Scotland <RBS.L>, while investors also awaited key U.S.
employment figures later in the day.
At 1132 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top
European shares was up 0.2 percent at 992.35 points.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Investing in wind power offers safer, less volatile returns in the current market environment than the solar sector, a fund manager of KBC’s asset management arm told Reuters. “We as investors like strong, steady growth, which is why we currently favor wind more than solar, which is expected to see more volatility in the short term,” said Treasa Ni Chonghaile, manager of KBC’s Eco Alternative Energy fund.
The solar sector is in the process of wide-ranging consolidation, triggered by cell and module oversupply that has plagued the industry and has forced some players to file for bankruptcy, while other are suffering major losses.
FRANKFURT, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Software AG <SOWG.DE>, Germany’s second-biggest software maker after SAP AG <SAPG.DE>, is bullish about prospects, expecting sales and profits to grow next year, its chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.
“We see further contributions to our growth in 2010,” Karl-Heinz Streibich said in an interview, adding the company expected higher revenue and profit.
FRANKFURT, Nov 4 (Reuters) – SolarWorld <SWVG.DE> on
Wednesday reaffirmed a full-year sales target of 1 billion euros
($1.47 billion) despite cutting prices by a quarter and missing
third-quarter operating earnings forecasts.
Germany’s No.3 solar company reported third-quarter sales at
232.5 million euros and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT)
amounted at 34.7 million. Analysts in a Reuters poll on average
expected sales of 270 million and core earnings of 38 million.
FRANKFURT/LOS ANGELES, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Germany’s Q-Cells
<QCEG.DE> ended an agreement with its Chinese solar wafer
supplier, LDK Solar <LDK.N>, a sign that the solar industry is
continuing to struggle with an oversupply of materials.
Q-Cells, one of the world’s largest makers of solar cells,
said on Monday that LDK did not fulfill “significant
contractual obligations” in a 10-year agreement to supply
wafers to Q-Cells. The companies entered the contract when
wafer prices were much higher.
FRANKFURT, Oct 30 (Reuters) – European shares had drifted
lower by midday of the last trading day of the month after
surging in the prior session on U.S. GDP data, as falling energy
stocks, hit by weaker crude prices, offset gains in financials.
At 1300 GMT on Friday, the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index
of top European shares was down 0.2 percent at 995.70 points,
having risen 1.8 percent in the previous session. The benchmark
is up more than 54 percent from its lifetime low in March.
FRANKFURT, Oct 29 (Reuters) – German chemicals group BASF
<BASF.DE> on Thursday remained negative on keeping its annual
dividend stable, saying third-quarter net profit slumped and
that it would not be able to earn its cost of capital in 2009.
However, the company also hiked its synergies target for the
Ciba integration, dividing analysts on whether now is the time
to buy in or exit the stock.