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May 28, 2024

The Schletter Group reports a slight revenue decline in the first quarter

Company
Global

After sales growth of 13 percent in 2023, the Schletter Group—the global manufacturer of solar mounting systems — has started 2024 with a slight decline in sales. In the first three months of the year, the Schletter Group’s revenue was around 5 percent lower than the previous quarter’s, primarily driven by the continued low demand in the European rooftop segment. In contrast, the Schletter Group’s ground-mount segment has grown, with the company also making significant gains in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The consolidation in the European roofing business is still ongoing," says Florian Roos, CEO of the Schletter Group. After the enormous growth rates for roofing products, the sales volume for all market participants have fallen significantly since around April 2023. This is due to inflation, elevated interest rates, and the widespread shortage of installers. As a result, distributors still have large inventories of roofing products from all manufacturers, which are only slowly being sold. However, there are signs of normalization. "We expect that, in the second half of the year, the backlog will be gradually cleared and business will pick up again," Roos adds.

Meanwhile, the Schletter Group continues to see record growth in its ground-mount segment, where it increased its sales by around 13 percent compared with the previous quarter. Several major projects—for example, in the Dominican Republic (222 MWp), Ireland (101 MWp), Germany (58 MWp), and Bulgaria (51 MWp)—contributed to this. The future-oriented Agri-PV business is also developing positively, with the Schletter Group recently completing a 4.3 MWp pilot project in Austria. Overall, the Schletter Group’s ground-mount business accounted for 54 percent of its sales in the first quarter—significantly higher than the 42 percent average achieved over the previous 12 months. "Our broad portfolio enables us to absorb cyclical fluctuations in individual market segments very well," says Roos.

The consistent internationalization strategy that the Schletter Group has pursued for years is also a contributing factor. EMEA remains the most important market for the Schletter Group, accounting for almost 60 percent of sales. However, international markets are becoming increasingly important for the company, and the Schletter Group was able to significantly expand its business in the first quarter—especially in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounted for approximately 38 percent of sales. In the last 12 months, its share was 25 percent. "We were able to gain significant market share, especially in China and Australia," says Roos. "Our business is also developing very positively in the Philippines and Thailand, in both the ground-mount and rooftop segments.“

The Schletter Group is currently preparing for one of the industry's most important trade fairs, Intersolar Europe, which will take place in Munich from June 19–21. In addition to presenting its roof- and ground-based solar mounting systems, the company will be focusing on sustainability this year, with a spectacular exhibition stand featuring living walls and recyclable materials. In April, the Schletter Group voluntarily published a CSR (corporate social responsibility) report for the first time. In terms of products, the company’s focus will be on material efficiency and customer feedback, and it will also be presenting its new planning tool at Intersolar.

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