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SMA Solar Technology issues a rather dire outlook for 2013, noting that because of the large subsidy cuts for PV, and the expected European downturn because of the cuts, the company’s managing board anticipates sales to drop to somewhere between €0.9 billion and €1.3 billion in 2013.
“The growth impulses of the non-European photovoltaic markets are not sufficient to compensate for the expected decrease in European demand,' says Pierre-Pascal Urbon, speaker of the Managing Board. “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,” noted Urbon.
Because of the expected drop in sales, SMA noted that it will cut 450 employees worldwide and sever contracts with 600 temporary employees, but no personnel changes will be made in development. The company still plans on investing over €100 million in research and development over the next year, looking at the development of new product platform as a way to reduce production costs by 2014.
“Should we succeed in reducing production costs through technical innovation and open the market for energy management and solar-diesel hybrid systems, we will be able to return to profitability from 2014,” says Pierre-Pascal Urbon, giving his estimation of the medium-term perspectives.