China Sunergy Co. Ltd., a specialized manufacturer of solar cell and module products in China, today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011, reflecting the company’s decision to transition its business operations from primarily selling solar cells to selling solar modules to end users.

The company noted its acquisition of CEEG (Shanghai) Soar & Technology Co. Ltd (SST) and CEEG (Nanjing) Renewable Energy Co. Ltd. in November 2010, and said that because of these acquisitions, the first quarter of 2011 isn’t entirely comparable with the first quarter or fourth quarter of 2010.

Revenue for the first quarter was $165.7 million, a 58.9 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2010, but a decrease of 2.3 percent over fourth quarter 2010 revenues.

Shipments in the first quarter totaled 98.0 MW, including 92.1 MW of solar modules, in line with the company’s previous guidance.

Gross profit was $17.8 million, an increase of 5.3 percent over the first quarter of 2010, but a decrease of 34.3 percent over the fourth quarter of 2010.

Gross margin was 10.7 percent, exceeding the company’s previous guidance of 9.0 percent-10.5 percent.

Net income for the first quarter of 2011 was $3.5 million, or $0.09 per basic and diluted share, compared to a net loss of $63 million, or $(0.53) per share, reported for the first quarter of 2010.

As of March 31, 2011, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $79.6 million.

Stephen Cai, CEO of China Sunergy, noted slumped demand in the solar industry, and said the company is focusing on long-term preparations to combat market conditions and competition.

“We take a long-term view of the industry. Although European demand was soft in the first quarter, there are many untapped and developing markets abroad, not to mention China’s eventual emergence as an end market,” Cai stated in the press release. “We are preparing for the long-term by increasing in-house cell and module capacities, advancing our efficient-cell technology, and reducing our costs. Despite current end demand softness and margin pressure faced by us and all our competitors, we are holding to our stated course of capacity expansion for high-efficiency, low-cost solar products.”

The company also offered second-quarter guidance, expecting second quarter shipments will be 120 MW-130 MW. The company expects its gross margin for the second quarter of 2011 to be between 7.5 percent and 8.5 percent, with an in-house margin of 12 percent-13 percent.

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