Q-Cells lowers revenue and manufacturing output as solar project credit tightens

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Q-Cells SE has been forced to make significant revisions to its financial and manufacturing forecasts for 2008 and 2009 due to the credit crisis creating restrictions on new solar projects. The world’s largest photovoltaics manufacturer said that customer push outs had increased at short notice. The large volumes that had been pushed out year to date are difficult to place with other customers at such short notice, leading to significant effects on the company’s revenue generation.

Sales revenues are now expected to total around €1.225 billion in 2008, down from Q-Cells’ previous guidance in October of €1.35 billion. Net income is now expected to be in the range of €185 million, a figure that had previously been guided at €215 million.

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Guidance for 2009 has also been revised down. Q-Cells now expects sales revenues of between €1.75 billion and €2.25 billion. Previously, Q-Cells guided to the higher range of €2.25 billion. Market demand is therefore expected to remain weaker than expected in 2009 but the company believed a demand recovery would resurface ‘at the latest from the second half of 2009.’ Q-Cells said that it expected sales revenues to grow by at least 40% in 2009 as fundamental demand for solar was set to continue to rise, despite economic troubles.

With Q-Cells guiding lower sales revenues, production capacity expansion plans have been affected. Q-Cells expects production for 2008 to reach 570MWp, when the company had previously expected to reach 585MWp. Q-Cells intends to use the Christmas and New Year periods to perform maintenance work and reduce overtime balances in an effort to reduce inventory build in a seasonally weak period.

Q-Cells now expects total production in 2009 of between 800MWp and 1GWp. The company had previously guided in August 2008 that production would top 1.32GWp.

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