March 28, 2018 / 7:56 AM / a year ago

SMA Solar expects higher sales, profits in Q1

FRANKFURT, March 28 (Reuters) - SMA Solar, Germany’s largest solar group, expects sales and profits to rise in the first quarter, it said on Wednesday, helped by a pickup in demand in Europe and Asia.

The company sees sales rising to about 180 million euros ($222.9 million) in the first three months of the year, up from 173 million in the year-earlier period.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) are forecast to rise 13 percent to about 18 million euros.

“With the positive business development in the first quarter and our large order backlog, we are well on the way to achieving the goals set for this year,” Chief Executive Pierre Pascal Urbon said.

The company, the world’s largest maker of solar inverters that are needed to feed solar power into the grid, also proposed a dividend of 0.35 euros per share for 2017, an increase of 40 percent year-on-year.

Shares in the company were down nearly 5 percent as one of the biggest decliners among German technology stocks, hit by a slide in global tech stocks over concerns that regulation in the sector might tighten. ($1 = 0.8076 euros) (Reporting by Christoph Steitz Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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