Oerlikon Solar will cut its workforce by 60 and reduce working hours for a further 200 employees as the thin-film turnkey equipment specialist experiences a decline in sales and order delays, a result of the economic downturn and extremely difficult credit markets that are impacting customers’ ability to raise funds for expansions. The details were released with first quarter results from holding company, The Oerlikon Group.
The company said that no major new orders were received in the first quarter, resulting in orders declining 40% to CHF 11 million. Sales declined 32% to CHF 51 million. Oerlikon Solar’s backlog stood at CHF 390 million, down just 3% from the previous quarter.
The company said that it expects project financing for customers to improve in the second half of 2009, resulting in a return to normal business levels by the end of the year. The medium- and long-term market outlook for thin-film silicon solar modules with double-digit growth rates remains unchanged, noted the company.
The Oerlikon Group said that the poor business conditions, first experienced in the fourth quarter of 2008, have necessitated a reduction in approximately 700 jobs and that almost 6,000 employees were now working shorter hours.