I'd now like to return the call over to Mr. Miao Liansheng. Please begin.
Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us today. In the first quarter as we stayed committed to existing market and expanded further its new and emerging market, our PV module shipments reached a new historical high, with a increase of 44.4% over the previous quarter.
During the first quarter, module price had continuously driving down by a series of negative factors, such as excessive module supply, subsidy adjustment in Europe and AD/CVD investigations in U.S. Despite of continuously downgrade – downward module price, we maintained overall gross margin at 7.8% by leveraging our notable cost reduction efforts in premium brand.
We experienced exceptionally strong demand in Germany and in the U.S. in the first quarter. These two countries accounted for approximately 80% of our total revenues. Our remarkable sales performance was partially benefited from our R&D and after sales service center in Madrid, Spain, which has enabled us to provide customers with more efficient and comprehensive services.
China market after the installation rush in the second half of 2011, entered an adjustment period. In earlier 2012, majority utility companies were mainly busy with connecting their completed projects to grid and planning for new projects. In recent two months we have actively involved in the bidding for mainly ground mounted projects. We expect that China – we expected the demand in China market to surge in second and third quarter as the constructions of utility scale will gradually begin in Western China.
Earlier this month the China government announced a total of 1,709 megawatts Golden Sun Program for 2012, while the number was only 689 megawatts in 2011. In addition, we expect promising demand from the public and family use-sector, especially independent off-grid systems in remote area may be also encouraged by the Chinese government.