The Managing Board of SMA Solar Technology AG is anticipating a decline in sales. For 2014, the Managing Board is confirming the upper end of the sales forecast of €790 million and a loss of up to €115 million. Due to the lower level of sales, the SMA Managing Board is planning to cut approximately 1,600 full-time positions in all functional areas by June 30, 2015.
"We expect to see high price pressure on the global photovoltaic market still in the coming years and a further decline in demand in Europe, particularly in Germany. By contrast, the non-European markets will develop positively. This means, that although the market measured in gigawatts will continue to grow in the medium term, we expect to see a global decline when measured in euros. To return to profitability in this environment, we want to make adjustments to SMA's structures in line with the lower sales level. This is the only way that we can break even with reduced sales. In this context, global staff reductions are unfortunately unavoidable. We have already defined extensive measures that we will discuss with the Works Council over the next weeks," said SMA Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Pascal Urbon. "However, the effects of these measures will not emerge until the second half of the year at the earliest, meaning that SMA will probably not yet return to profitability in the current fiscal year." With net cash of approximately €220 million, SMA will be able to finance the transformation and the implementation of the strategy with its own resources, Urbon continued.
In relation to the 4,667 full-time positions as of December 31, 2014, the SMA Managing Board is planning to cut approximately 1,600 full-time positions worldwide by June 30, 2015. Approximately 1,300 full-time positions in Germany and approximately 300 full-time positions at SMA's international locations are affected. The cutback targets of over 600 full-time positions that were announced last year are included in these figures. The SMA Managing Board strives to achieve a socially responsible staff reduction. However, compulsory layoffs cannot be ruled out at the current date.