Bloomberg News

Conergy Rises on CEO 20% Margin Comment: Frankfurt Mover

April 16, 2012

Conergy AG (CGYK), a German solar-panel maker, rose the most in two months in Frankfurt after Chief Executive Officer Philip Comberg said he sees a gross profit margin of at least 20 percent in the first quarter.

Conergy climbed 14 percent to 0.436 euros a share at the close at 5:30 p.m. local time, the steepest gain since Feb. 9. The company projected “low positive” earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization on March 29.

Demand for solar panels “continues to be high,” Comberg said in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg News. “We see that in our order books and our operating margin has risen to above 20 percent in the first quarter according to preliminary figures.” Antje Stephan, a spokeswoman, said the comments relate to the “gross profit margin.”

German solar companies have struggled with reduced state aid and competition from Chinese companies that expanded capacity, creating an oversupply in panels. Q-Cells SE (QCE), once the biggest solar-cell maker, Solon SE (SOO1), Solar Millennium AG (S2M) and Solarhybrid AG (SHL) have filed for insolvency the past four months.

Comberg earlier confirmed his company’s target for an operating profit this year after a loss in 2011 in an interview with Der Spiegel.

The Hamburg-based company has lost three-quarters of its value over the past year even with today’s gain. Conergy has been cutting jobs and halting production of wafers and cells to focus on end-product modules and non-German markets in a bid to become profitable. The company is targeting North America and Asia for growth, Stephan said April 3.

“We have taken some hard steps earlier than our competition, and that’s helping us now,” Comberg said in the e- mail.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net


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