First Solar Swings into Net Income of $43 Million in Q1 on Higher Sales

The gross profit margin improved to 20.4% from 3% YoY


U.S.-based solar module manufacturer First Solar recorded a net income of $42.6 million in the first quarter (Q1) of the financial year (FY) 2023, compared to a net loss of $43.3 million year-over-year (YoY).

The quarterly performance was due to higher net sales at a lower proportional cost YoY, which led to a gross profit margin of 20.4% for the first quarter compared with 3.1% YoY.

“We entered 2023 in a significantly stronger commercial, operational, and financial position than the previous year, setting the stage for growth and improved profitability in 2023 and beyond,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar.

“The first quarter of the year reflects this direction as we commissioned our latest factory in the United States and started production of our next generation Series 7 modules, progressed our technology roadmap with a new cell efficiency record, and continued our strong bookings and ASP momentum,” Widmar added.

The company manufactured 2.5 GW of modules, including 170 MW of new Series 7 technology. First Solar claimed a year-to-date booking of 12.1 GW and a total contracted backlog of 71.6 GW extending through 2029.

First Solar, through its FS India Solar Ventures, was one of the winners under Tranche II of the performance-linked incentive program. The company will receive ₹11.8 billion (~$143 million) under the program to manufacture 3.4 GW modules.

In June last year, First Solar announced that it would invest $684 million to set up a 3.3 GW vertically-integrated thin-film solar module manufacturing facility in India, the second-largest market for the company after North America. According to the company’s recent updates, its Indian facility is on track to be operational by the second half of 2023.

First Solar’s Ohio plant expansion is expected to be completed by 2024, while the construction of a new module facility in Alabama is expected to be completed by late 2024 or early 2025. These facilities are part of the company’s plan to scale its American manufacturing footprint to over 10 GW by 2025 and create over 700 new jobs in the southwest.

First Solar had reported a net loss of $44 million for 2022, compared to a net income of $469 million in 2021.