“Our previous forecast was based on the assumption of a strong sales upturn toward the end of the year. Unfortunately, markets in Europe have not developed as well as expected. The British government has unexpectedly extended the deadline for the grid connection of large-scale PV plants under the current subsidy regime by one year to March 31, 2016. As a result of this, a large number of projects will be delayed until 2015. In addition, distribution business has declined dramatically in Europe, particularly in Germany. This trend has not been reversed over the last months,” said SMA Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Pascal Urbon. According to Urbon, low sales levels and one-time items resulting from the market consolidation are the main reasons for the deterioration in earnings. The success already achieved in material cost reduction could not be recognized in earnings as planned because of effects of volume.
In order to return to profitability, SMA will further intensify the measures already initiated. For example, the Managing Board is planning to reduce the development budget to approximately €80 million annually by the middle of 2015. SMA is planning to lay off significantly more than 600 employees worldwide by mid-2015. In addition, the Chinese subsidiary Zeversolar will be restructured. Urbon stressed that, with expected liquidity of more than €250 million at the end of the year 2014 and an equity ratio of approximately 50%, SMA can finance the transformation from its own resources.
The SMA Group generated sales of more than €930 million in 2013 and is the global market leader for solar inverters, a key component of all PV plants. SMA offers innovative key technologies for future power supply structures. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented 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 grid-connected photovoltaic plants as well as off-grid and hybrid system technology. The product portfolio is supplemented by comprehensive services and operational management of utility-scale PV plants. 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.
SMA Solar Technology AG
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This press release serves only as information and does not constitute an offer or invitation to subscribe for, acquire, hold or sell any securities of SMA Solar Technology AG (the “Company”) or any present or future subsidiary of the Company (together with the Company, the “SMA Group”) nor should it form the basis of, or be relied upon in connection with, any contract to purchase or subscribe for any securities in the Company or any member of the SMA Group or commitment whatsoever. Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States of America absent registration or an exemption from registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
This press release can contain future-oriented statements. Future-oriented statements are statements which do not describe facts of the past. They also include statements about our assumptions and expectations. These statements are based on plans, estimations and forecasts which the Managing Board of SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA or company) has available at this time. Future-oriented statements are therefore only valid on the day on which they are made. Future-oriented statements by nature contain risks and elements of uncertainty. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors can lead to considerable differences between the actual results, the financial position, the development or the performance of the corporation and the estimates given here. These factors include those which SMA has discussed in published reports. These reports are available on the SMA website at www.SMA.de. The company accepts no obligation whatsoever to update these future-oriented statements or to adjust them to future events or developments.