Akeena Solar Inc., a leading designer and installer of solar power systems in the United States, yesterday posted its third-quarter results for the three months ended September 30, 2009, reflecting growth and continued demand in residential applications.

The company reported net sales at $7.7 million as compared to $10.6 million for the same quarter last year, up from $5.9 million in the second quarter of 2009. The company attributes the year-on-year decline to the credit crunch and global overbearing economic conditions. However, the increase in net sales from the second quarter reflects higher residential sales.

“Our third-quarter results demonstrate the growing demand for residential solar installations and the improving leverage in our business model,” Barry Cinnamon, president and CEO of Akeena Solar stated in the press release. “The benefits of our differentiated Andalay panels and lower Andalay installation costs drove gross margin to 24.7%, double last year’s level, and up nicely from 19.7% in the second quarter. Tighter expense management continued and we reduced cash burn to $2.1 million. We ended the quarter with a backlog of $8.3 million, up from $7.5 million at June 30th.”

Gross profit for the quarter was $1.9 million, or 24.7 percent of sales, as compared to $1.3 million, or 12.7 percent of sales in the third quarter of 2008.

Akeena Solar reported a net loss of $2.4 million for the third quarter of 2009, as compared to a net loss of $5.5 million for the third quarter of 2008.

Cinnamon said the company strengthened its strategic financial position and worked toward expansion of distribution efforts for its Andalay panels.

“During the quarter, we continued advancing our strategy to diversify our revenue streams and scale our business. These initiatives are intended to create a platform for continued revenue growth in 2009 and beyond, while moving us closer to cash flow breakeven. We are making progress expanding our distribution of Andalay panels into four new channels: direct sales to solar installers in the U.S., sales to the low-income housing and new home construction markets, sales to solar installers in Europe and sales to big box retailers,” he stated.

Cinnamon also noted that the company’s Andalay AC solar panels received the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Product Award, which showcases world-changing innovations. The products design and efficacy supports the company’s efforts for continued marketing and distribution of the panels.

“Because of their simplicity and safety, we believe Andalay panels will be a natural fit with big box retailers, and we are advancing our strategy to penetrate that market. Sales to installers are growing steadily; in the quarter, we sold Andalay AC to 29 installers in 15 states and Canada, booking sales of $400,000,” Cinnamon stated.