Sterling and Wilson Solar Q1 Results. Underwhelming

Highlights :

  • The respected solar EPC firm has taken many hits to its credibility with investors with repeated dissappointments in results.
  • One of the biggest issues, promoter debt, seems close to a resolution finally.
Sterling and Wilson Solar Q1 Results. Underwhelming

Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited (SWSL) (BSE Scrip Code: 542760; NSE Symbol: SWSOLAR), one of the leading solar EPC and O&M solutions provider, announced its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended 30th June 2021.

The Company’s consolidated revenue from operations for Q1FY22 stood at Rs. 1,195 crore and adjusted gross margins stood at Rs 28 crore. Gross margins were impacted in Q1FY22 due to continued increase in module, commodities and freight price impacting the overall gross margins of ongoing projects.

That is a 12 percent drop  from its Q4 March ’21 figures, when revenues were Rs 1365 crores.

On a year on year comparison however, the firm has managed to eke out some growth, as it did only Rs 1067 crores in Q1 2020-22. A 12 percent growth over a covid hit quarter. the firm continued to be in the red, with losses at Rs 87 crores, after the huge hits it took in the previous quarter, with a Rs 400 crores loss. Surprisingly, even the O&M business has seen a drop from Rs 72 crores to Rs 61 crores in the past two quarters.

The firm has informed the stock exchange about order inflows of 623 MW in FY22 till date amounting to 473 crore from domestic market.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Amit Jain, Global CEO, said, “The solar power industry is currently facing headwinds on account of increase in prices of solar modules, commodity prices and rise in freight costs. This has also led to major developers postponing the finalisation of their utility scale solar power projects. We expect the awarding of contracts to pick-up in Q3FY22. Most of our clients are looking at significant capacity additions and we remain confident of the opportunities going ahead. Our global presence enables us a lot of flexibility in selecting projects globally.  Our unexecuted Order Book as on 14th August 2021 stands at Rs. 8,731 crore, which is executable over the period of next 12 to 15 months.

With carbon emission reduction becoming a global consensus, there are enormous opportunities in emerging fields of hybrid energy power plants, energy storage solutions and biomass / waste to energy. Thus, we have decided to enter these new lines of businesses by undertaking the EPC turnkey projects subject to shareholders approval. We can leverage our existing relationship with clients, further exploit our technical expertise and maximize the inherent benefits of our hub-and-spoke business model, thereby becoming a diversified renewables company into the rapidly growing ESG space”

The firm continues to struggle to find its moorings, ever since trouble first hit, right after its 2018 IPO, when it first disclosed the failure of its promoters to repay debts owed to the firm. That chapter finally looks set to end this year for the firm, with a little luck. According, term debt has come down from Rs 810 crores to Rs 64 crores now. that should leave the firm well placed to grab future opportunities and deliver on its promises.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International