The Managing Board of SMA Solar Technology AG is anticipating a difficult fiscal year 2015 and a decline in sales, and consequently plans to cut approximately 1,600 full-time positions in all functional areas by June 30th, 2015.
For 2014, the Managing Board is confirming the upper end of the sales forecast of EUR790 million and a loss of up to EUR115 million (excluding provisions for the planned staff reductions). The Board expects to see high price pressure on the global PV market still in the coming years and a further decline in demand in Europe, particularly in Germany. By contrast, the non-European markets are expected to develop positively. Although the market measured in GW-scale will continue to grow in the medium term, the SMA Managing Board expects 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,” said Pierre-Pascal Urbon, the SMA Chief Executive Officer. “We have already defined extensive measures that we will discuss with the Works Council over the next weeks. 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 EUR220 million, SMA will be able to finance the transformation and the implementation of the strategy with its own resources, Urbon noted.
In relation to the 4,667 full-time positions (excluding temporary employees) 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.