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SMA Solar Technology AG to Reduce Staff in Anticipation of a Tough 2015

SMA Solar Technology AG to Reduce Staff in Anticipation of a Tough 2015 Image courtesy of SMA Solar Technologies.

The Managing Board of SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA/FWB: S92) put on a very  brave front in presenting their outlook for 2015 and outlining their cost reducing restructuring plan.  SMA Solar, Germany’s largest solar company, expects to show a loss for the third year in a row. This announcement was  the latest blow to the German PV industry, which seems to be struggling for its very survival.

“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.”

The company said that it expects to return to a profit in 2016, helped by more than 160 million euros ($181 million) of cost reductions as a result of their restructuring plan which will result in the elimination of approximately 1,600 jobs by June 30, 2015.

Here are the highlights from their 2015 outlook and restructuring presentation:

  • Germany has lost its pioneering role and accounts only for
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