Concentrated Solar Energy Solar Millennium confirms its results for the past fiscal year

Total operating performance of € 186.4 million with earnings (EBIT) of € 0.7 million, a positive operating cash flow of € 7.4 million, liquid funds of over € 115 million and an equity ratio of 28%. Solar Millennium AG (S2M) is close to an agreement to finance its $3.8 billion solar thermal project in California and said it has projects with a capacity to produce a total of 2.7 gigawatts of electricity under planning. Chief Executive Officer Christoph Wolff said the financing may be finished in the summer. It is expected to include funds from the U.S. Department of Energy. In an interview, Wolff said about 300 megawatts of the projects the company is planning are outside the U.S. and Spain.

Operating focus in the current fiscal year on the financial close for the world’s largest concentrated solar energy facility Blythe in California and the Spanish solar thermal plant Ibersol in the Extremadura region. Solar Millennium realigned with a well-filled project pipeline.

Solar Millennium AG (ISIN DE0007218406) is presenting its 2009/2010 consolidated financial statements at today’s annual press conference in Munich. In this context, the Company confirms the preliminary figures already announced, including the marginally positive consolidated operating earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of € 0.7 million (previous year: € 52.3 million). Consolidated net income after minority interests amount to € -10.4 million (previous year: € 34.6 million). Earnings per share are € -0.85 (previous year: € 2.77).

After € 220.0 million in the 2008/2009 reporting period, the Company generated total operating performance of € 186.4 million, 15% lower than in the previous year. The operating cash flow for the past fiscal year is positive for the first time at € 7.4 million (previous year: € -51.6 million). The nearly unchanged position of cash and cash equivalents of € 115.9 million (previous year: € 117.0 million) as well as an equity ratio of 28% (33% in the previous year) points to a solid financial situation for the Company.

Most of the sales contributions in the total operating performance came from the sale of stakes and of participation rights in the Spanish solar power plant project Ibersol and the engineering and power plant construction of the Andasol 3 solar-thermal power plant. Additional sales were generated in the scope of realizing the parabolic trough solar field in Egypt and with other projects and feasibility studies in various countries.

Oliver Blamberger, CFO of Solar Millennium AG, explains the concluded fiscal year: “The Solar Millennium Group’s operating performance was good. The reason we had to deviate from the original guidance was mostly the project delays for the US power plants. We now aim to close the outstanding financing for these plants in the current fiscal year.”

In view of the reporting in the consolidated financial statements, Blamberger continues: “The introduction of total operating performance as a new key figure makes it easier to compare the individual reporting periods, and therefore further contributes to better transparency.”

Christoph Wolff, CEO of Solar Millennium AG, is looking forward to the upcoming projects with confidence: “In the U.S. we’ve begun building the world’s largest solar power plant. We’re also realizing our fourth parabolic trough power plant in Spain. Moreover, we’re active in other regions such as the Middle East, North Africa, South Africa, India and China, while our project pipeline is well filled.”

For the current fiscal year the Executive Board expects sales from the completion of Andasol 3 and commissioning services at the hybrid power plant in Kuraymat, Egypt, as well as the financial close and start of construction of Ibersol. The largest portion of expected sales in the current 2010/2011 fiscal year will be apportioned to the financial close for the two solar power plant projects in Blythe, each with an output of 242 Megawatt.

This includes on the one hand the approval for debt capital to finance 75% through the US Department of Energy in the scope of the Loan Guarantee Program, and on the other hand the securing of equity financing through the sale of stakes to major investors and funds. The investment volume for the two planned solar-thermal power plants at the Blythe location comes out to approximately US$ 2.8 billion in total. The two plants are to be built with an interval of half a year. Given the fact that the talks and negotiations with potential investors that began in 2010 are already in advanced stages, the Executive Board expects to close all financing in late summer 2011. The target figures for the current fiscal year will be announced as soon as the milestones in the approval and financing process have been reached.

Solar Millennium AG, Erlangen, is an international company in the renewable energy sector, with a focus on solar-thermal power plants. Together with its subsidiaries and associates, the Company specializes in Parabolic Trough power plants and has managed to take a globally leading position in this field. Solar Millennium strives to further extend its expertise in the area of solar-thermal power plants with the aim of achieving and securing sustainable technology leadership.

As such, the Company covers all important business sectors along the value chain for solar-thermal power plants: from project development and financing to the technology and the turnkey construction and operation of power plants. In Spain, Solar Millennium has developed Europe’s first Parabolic Trough power plants, these were realized with partners. Additional projects are planned around the world with an overall capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts: the current regional focus is on Spain, the US, India, China, the Middle East and North Africa.

Solar-thermal power plants generate electricity by converting solar radiation into heat energy. In a Parabolic Trough power plant, trough-shaped mirrors concentrate the incidental radiation onto a pipe in the focal line of the collector. Its absorption heats a fluid heat medium in the pipe, generating steam in the power block through a heat exchanger. As in conventional power plants, the steam powers a turbine to generate electricity. By integrating thermal storage, electricity can be supplied on demand, even after sunset.