centrotherm photovoltaics AG enjoys great popularity with shareholders

Blaubeuren, 19.08.2011

  • More than 300 shareholders attend Annual General Meeting in Ulm
  • Management Board explains technology leadership, promising business areas and new markets
  • Distribution of total dividend of EUR 0.70 per share approved

The AGM of centrotherm photovoltaics AG held on August 18 at the Donauhalle in Ulm was exceptionally well received: more than 300 shareholders were present, marking a 50 percent increase over the previous year's event, which was also well attended. The shareholders of centrotherm photovoltaics AG approved with a clear vote the management's corporate strategy at the Shareholders' General Meeting. The Management and Supervisory boards of the globally leading technology and equipment provider to the photovoltaic sector were discharged for the 2010 financial year with a high majority.

Shareholders approved very highly of the Management and Supervisory boards' proposal to pay the first dividend in the company's history in view of the good earnings trends in the 2010 financial year. Consequently, the Shareholders' General Meeting passed a resolution to distribute a dividend of EUR 0.50 and a one-off bonus dividend of EUR 0.20 per ordinary share. "We are enabling our shareholders to participate in the company's success, and we are aiming for a long-term dividend policy. This means that we are also planning to distribute a dividend for the coming financial years depending on our corporate development," was how Robert M. Hartung, CEO and Management Board Spokesman of centrotherm photovoltaics AG, commented to shareholders at their general meeting held in Ulm.

The CFO of centrotherm photovoltaics AG, Dr. Thomas Riegler, presented a summary of an extremely successful year with significant revenue growth of more than 20 percent, a doubling of EBIT operating earnings, and an outright order boom entailing a new order inflow of more than EUR 1 billion. As a technology leader, centrotherm photovoltaics spent a total of EUR 42.4 million on research and development in 2010 – almost 50 percent more than in the previous year.

The company, which is listed in the TecDAX index, has prepared well in both structural and technological terms for the demanding market that will characterize coming months. The South German company identifies tangible demand for high-performance cells and modules among manufacturers. To this end, they require the latest technology in order to achieve high efficiencies, and to extend their cost-leadership. This is feeding through to corresponding demand for centrotherm photovoltaics' upgrade packages to retrofit existing production lines. To this is added additional business from exchanging old systems with the most up-to-date equipment. "With our technological strength and our systems along the solar value chain, we are enabling our customers to position themselves as the best manufacturers in a highly competitive market," Hartung went on to add.

Along with the Asian market, where centrotherm photovoltaics commands high market shares in China, Taiwan and India, the South German company identifies interesting future markets in the Arab region, as well as South America and North Africa, for example. In addition, customers are currently focusing to greater extent on integrated production, and are positioning themselves along the entire value chain. An example of this is the major order received in spring of this year for the construction of an almost fully integrated solar module factory in Algeria. This factory covers the entire value creation, ranging from ingot production and solar cell manufacturing through to solar module end-products. The high degree of integration in the production of solar wafers, cells and modules allows low manufacturing costs to be achieved, and thereby high-quality modules at competitive prices.

Note: The results of all agenda items are available on the Investor Relations section of company’s website at www.centrotherm.de.

About centrotherm photovoltaics AG

centrotherm photovoltaics AG, which is based at Blaubeuren, Germany, is the world's leading technology and equipment provider for the photovoltaics sector. The company equips well-known solar companies and new sector entrants with turnkey production lines and single equipment to manufacture silicon, ingots and bricks, crystalline solar cells and modules, and thin film modules. As a consequence, the Group possesses a broad and well-founded technological basis, as well as key equipment at practically all steps of the photovoltaics value chain. centrotherm photovoltaics guarantees its customers important performance parameters such as production capacity, efficiencies, and completion deadlines. The Group employs around 1,900 staff, and operates globally in Europe, Asia and the USA. centrotherm photovoltaics achieved revenue in the 2010 financial year of EUR 624,2 million, EBIT of EUR 75.4 million. The company is listed in the TecDAX index on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

centrotherm photovoltaics AG
Johannes-Schmid-Strasse 8
89143 Blaubeuren
Internet: www.centrotherm.de
Admitted to the Regulated Market/Prime Standard, Frankfurt Securities Exchange
Corporate domicile: Germany


Saskia Feil
Senior Manager Investor & Public Relations
Tel: +49 7344 918-8890

Dr. Torsten Knödler
Manager Public Relations
Tel: +49 7344 918-8898