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German inverter manufacture SMA is predicting job losses next year as a result of a likely “severe” decline in sales stemming from PV subsidy cuts across Europe.
The company expects a steep downturn in 2013, with sales likely to fall to between €0.9 billion and €1.3 billion, down from the €1.5 billion forecast for the end of this year.
As a result, SMA said it would have to downsize its workforce, with 450 likely to be shed from the company and an end to the use of up to 600 temporary employees.
Speaking for the SMA managing board, Pierre-Pascal Urbon, said SMA’s growth in overseas markets was unlikely to be sufficient to compensate for the likely fall in European sales as subsidies are cut.
“The growth impulses of the non-European photovoltaic markets are not sufficient to compensate for the expected decrease in European demand,” he said.
“Due to a strongly growing price pressure we cannot compensate for such a drop in sales in such a short time only through productivity improvements and technical innovations. In the best case scenario, we expect a balanced operating result for 2013. At present, we cannot exclude the possibility of a loss.”