SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA) will be able to carry out its planned downsizing on a voluntary and socially responsible basis. In response to changing conditions in the global photovoltaic market and the associated sharp decline in sales, the company had announced plans to gradually cut 680 full-time positions in Germany by December 31, 2014.
“For the first time in many years, the global photovoltaic market measured in euros will decline in 2013. We are expecting a sustained period of consolidation. As global market leader, SMA will be especially affected by this. An adjustment of personnel structures is therefore unavoidable,” explained SMA Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Pascal Urbon. By the end of 2014, the company plans to cut its full-time positions in Germany by 680 in relation to the cutoff date of March 31, 2013. This corresponds to around 800 employees, as the layoffs will affect both full-time positions and part-time jobs. By the end of 2014, the workforce capacity at locations in Germany will total about 3 000 full-time positions.
The SMA Managing Board constructively cooperated with the Works Council to develop a voluntary program that would make the adjustment to the personnel structures as socially responsible as possible. In addition to measures implemented prior to August 1, 2013 and expiring temporary contracts, more than 400 SMA employees had decided by September 13, 2013 to participate in the voluntary program. Therefore, SMA will achieve the necessary targeted reductions and will be able to avoid involuntary layoffs. ”Although we are saddened to have to part with our employees, the result is a good one for SMA. We have achieved the targeted reductions and have been able to exclude involuntary layoffs. We would like to thank the employees who have made use of the voluntary program and are leaving SMA for their dedication and the good work they have performed,” said Chief Financial and Human Resources Officer Lydia Sommer.
The SMA Group generated sales of €1.5 billion in 2012 and is the global market leader for solar inverters, a key component of all PV plants and, as an energy management group, offers innovative key technologies for future power supply structures. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented internationally in 21 countries. The Group employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. SMA’s broad product portfolio includes a compatible inverter for every type of module on the market and for all plant sizes. The product range includes both inverters for photovoltaic plants connected to the grid as well as inverters for off-grid systems. SMA is therefore able to provide ideal technical inverter solutions for all plant sizes and types. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and also in the TecDAX index. In recent years, SMA has received numerous awards for excellence as an employer and achieved first place in the nationwide “Great Place to Work®” competition in 2011 and 2012 and fourth place in 2013.
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