Impairment charges due to price declines and expected challenging market conditions in 2012 weighed on Q-Cells' preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year results. The company reported a fourth-quarter EBIT loss of approximately €355 million and a full-year 2011 loss of €846 million. Fourth-quarter revenue was €353 million, up significantly from €299 million in the third quarter. Revenue for the year reached €1,023 million. Q-Cells said that it began 2012 with an increase in cash and cash equivalents that totalled approximately €305 million, due to a reduction in net working capital.
The transition away from being primarily a cell producer to a module producer would seem to have stalled. Q-Cells reported overall production volumes reached 783MWp, which included 717MWp of solar cells.
In 2010, the company reported cell production increased by 84% to 1,014MWp, which included 940MWp in solar cells and module production of 400MWp.
However, the company reported that it had processed crystalline modules with a volume of 390MWp in 2011. The company used outsourcing and its new module plant in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany to provide modules for its own projects as well as for outside sales.
Its CIGS thin-film subsidiary, Solibro, was reported to have produced 66MWp of modules in 2011, down from 74MW in 2010.
The company said that nearly 60% of cell production had been carried out at its facilities in Malaysia.
Net debt decreased to approximately €432 million by the end of 2011, down from €515 million in the third quarter as revenue and lower working capital needs improved the balance sheet.
Q-Cells reiterated that it expected to make a loss in 2012 before achieving a positive EBITDA in 2013.