SMA Solar cutting a further 1,000 jobs by mid-year on lower sales forecast

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

Updated: Leading PV inverter manufacturer, SMA Solar Technology, is slashing a further 1,000 jobs, primarily in Germany due to lower expected sales in 2015 from its traditional German and European markets.

SMA Solar had previously announced around 600 full-time job cuts in a bid to return to profitability. The company noted that a total of 1,600 job cuts would be implemented by the end of June 2015. 

The company said that around 1,300 full-time jobs in Germany and approximately 300 full-time positions in international locations would be cut. SMA Solar had 4,667 full-time employees at the end of 2014.

“We expect to see high price pressure on the global photovoltaic market still in the coming years and a further decline in demand in Europe, particularly in Germany” said, Pierre-Pascal Urbon, chief executive of SMA Solar. “By contrast, the non-European markets will develop positively. This means, that although the market measured in gigawatts will continue to grow in the medium term, we expect to see a global decline when measured in euros. To return to profitability in this environment, we want to make adjustments to SMA’s structures in line with the lower sales level. This is the only way that we can break even with reduced sales.”

The company noted that it expected to report 2014 revenue of €790 million and a loss approaching €115 million. 

“However, the effects of these measures will not emerge until the second half of the year at the earliest, meaning that SMA will probably not yet return to profitability in the current fiscal year,” added Urbon.

According to market research firm IHS, the global PV inverter market is forecasted to increase around 1% in 2015 to US$6.4 billion, in contrast to SMA’s CEO’s remarks of a decline.

Global inverter shipments are forecast to increase by 12% to reach 46.5GWac in 2015, due to an increase in demand for inverters in key markets such as China, Japan and the United States. However, revenue growth will be limited by average global prices declining by 10%, IHS noted. 

“To date, SMA’s market share in China, the world’s largest inverter market in shipment terms, has been limited due to the dominance of the domestic suppliers and the highly competitive prices offered in this market,” noted Cormac Gilligan, Senior Analyst at IHS. “Despite its acquisition of Zeversolar, SMA has been unable to gain significant market share in China. 

“Even in Germany, SMA’s domestic market where it has a dominant market share, decreasing prices and a highly competitive environment have severely impacted its revenue growth. PV inverter revenues in Germany in 2015 are forecast to reach US$300 million, down from US$1.6 billion in 2012. Even the exit of some leading European suppliers such as SolarMax has given limited breathing space due to the limited growth potential in Germany and the emergence of new Asian suppliers in the market,” added Gilligan. 

A key emerging market for SMA Solar that avoids the highly competitive inverter space is the ‘Smart Home’. 

IHS notes that SMA is aiming to diversify its business and move into the smart home and energy management industries which are presently higher margin and less commoditised industries, which it believes SMA is better placed for success in those segments.

10 November 2021
The solar tracker market continues to mature at breakneck speed, with designs and component selections becoming ever-more complex in the pursuit of better project economics. But a more simplistic design could deliver a triple benefit of lower Capex, EPC and Opex costs. This webinar will set out the ideal single axis tracker design for utility-scale solar farms. The design leapfrogs from decades of experience, with a comprehensive understanding and attention to the three cost structures of Capex, EPC and Opx. Sun and Steel Solar has prototyped a single axis tracker designed to deliver up to US$0.03/W in real savings compared to existing single axis trackers on the market. That’s US$30 million for every gigawatt deployed.
15 November 2021
The 10th edition of the famous Metallization and Interconnection Workshop, MIW2021, will take place in the Thor Central venue in Genk, Belgium, on Monday, November 15, and Tuesday, November 16, 2021 as a face-to-face meeting. We are longing for direct exchange of knowledge and ideas after a long time. Hopefully you can be part of it! But of course, the organizors will keep an eye on the evolution of the Covid pandemic. It will be assess carefully, whether the workshop can be held without major risks or excessive restrictions. We are looking forward to exciting talks, discussions and meetings and to welcoming you in Genk!
23 November 2021
The solar, storage and EV industries in the UK are going from strength to strength. There is no better place for the community to meet, share ideas and do business than Solar & Storage Live from 23-25 November at the NEC.There’s something for everyone; more than 150 exhibitors, a high-level conference, a start up and innovation zone, a poster zone, strategic partners to network with and much more. 
24 November 2021
In this webinar we will assess how these technical parameters and land characteristics can make a difference, in order to correctly make the choice between 1P or 2P trackers. There will be a comparison of the behaviour of Soltec’s 1P tracker, SFOne, and its 2P tracker, the SF7.
1 December 2021
Understand fully the technical and logistical supply chains that determine the production and performance of solar modules, including all related factors impacting quality, reliability & bankability. This event will be run online with streamed content, access to session recordings and chat/messaging tools for delegates to connect.
2 December 2021
Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition & conference series for the solar industry. As part of this event series, Intersolar India in Mumbai is India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for India’s solar industry. It takes place annually and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. Since 2019, Intersolar India is held under the umbrella of The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
October 27, 2021
As prices rise and component availability remains tight, both solar’s upstream and downstream are rallying behind the common cause of ensuring which projects can go ahead, do go ahead in a timely fashion. Liam Stoker assesses the industry’s efforts to keep the supply chain moving forward.
October 27, 2021
Colombia has awarded contracts to 11 solar PV projects with a combined capacity of 796.3MW in its third renewable energy auction.
October 27, 2021
Microinverter supplier Enphase Energy reported record quarterly revenue in Q3 2021 but stressed the importance of price increases to help offset price volatility in its supply chain.
October 27, 2021
Spanish utility Iberdrola has expanded its investment in renewables and smart grid projects to €7.03 billion (US$8.15 billion) but its net profit suffered, falling 10.2% to €2.4 billion (US$2.78 billion), according to its recent financial results for 2021 release today.  
October 27, 2021
India installed around 8,811MW of solar between January and September 2021, a 280% increase on the same period of 2020, according to JMK Research & Analytics.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
November 10, 2021
8am (PST) | 5pm (CET)
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021