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Trina-solarBEIJING: Trina Solar Ltd , China's largest photovoltaic module manufacturer by market value, expects demand in Europe to pick up in the second half of the year, with global annual demand rising by about a quarter, its chief executive said on Monday.

Gao Jifan told Reuters he expected annual demand to reach 20 gigawatts, and that he aimed for the company's global market share to reach 9.5 percent, up from 6.5 percent.

"We expect German solar installations this year to be higher than last year. In the third and fourth quarters, and right up until December, the German solar market should be in a more favourable position," he said in an interview.

Trina is one of the world's lowest-cost manufacturers of solar panels, with margins above 30 percent for all of 2010.

Solar companies are rapidly increasing their capacity to produce equipment, heightening competition in the sector and pushing prices for solar equipment down sharply as companies battle for market share.

Europe, which has traditionally been the industry's biggest market, is slashing subsidies, further weighing on the sector's outlook.

Gao said demand in Germany, one of the largest markets for photovoltaic products in Europe, had started to heat up since the beginning of May, increasing the return on investment.

On the outlook for module prices, Gao said the prices had already fallen below the cost of manufacture but because of rising demand in the third quarter, prices would be more stable going forward, adding that he did not eliminate the possibility of prices rising.

Due to the rebound in the second half of the year, Gao said he was confident that Trina Solar could achieve 70 percent growth in for its shipment target of 1.75-1.8 gigawatts.

With the pickup in demand and the rise in product prices, third quarter gross profit margin would hopefully be higher than the second quarter, potentially reaching 25 percent, Gao said.

Trina Solar, which competes with fellow Chinese manufacturers Suntech Power Holdings CO Ltd and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd , has a vertically integrated business model, producing solar ingots, wafers, cells and modules.


Copyright Reuters, 2011



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