SMA Solar Technology AG Informs Employees About Necessary Corporate Downsizing

The Managing Board of SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA) today informed the company’s employees at an employee meeting about further planned personnel adjustments. To respond to the changing conditions in the global photovoltaic market and the associated strong decline in sales, a gradual downsizing of 700 full-time positions in Germany is planned by December 31, 2014.

“We are expecting an extended period of consolidation in the solar sector. For the first time in many years, measured in Euros, the global photovoltaic market will decline in 2013. As market leader, we will be especially affected by this. In such a short space of time, we are not able to offset the sharp decrease in sales – nearly 50% since 2010 –with the ongoing measures for increasing productivity and saving on material costs alone. We have therefore been forced to make even more far-reaching changes than planned to our personnel structure over the coming months,” explains SMA Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Pascal Urbon.

At the employee meeting, the company announced that in relation to the cutoff date of March 31, 2013, a total of 700 full-time positions will be downscaled in Germany by the end of 2014. This corresponds to around 800 employees, as the layoffs will affect both full-time and part-time employees. By the end of 2014, full-time positions in Germany will be at 3 000.

In recent weeks, the Managing Board has led constructive negotiations with the Works Council to ensure that any personnel adjustments are handled in the most socially responsible way. These negotiations are still in progress. The options of a further voluntary separation scheme or a transfer of the affected employees to a transitional company are under discussion. At present, the Managing Board is unable to exclude the possibility of compulsory terminations for operational reasons if the stated measures do not result in the required reduction in staff. “The planned downsizing is unavoidable if SMA is to emerge strengthened from the current consolidation phase in the solar sector. When making decisions about these cutbacks, we have used our best judgement and have kept an eye on our shared values,” says Pierre-Pascal Urbon.

The planned reduction in staff will affect all SMA divisions and corporate center in Germany. IT and development specialists will not be affected. SMA plans to continue investing, particularly in the area of technology development to strengthen the company’s ability to operate in the future and to systematically extend the global technology leadership. The Managing Board believes that the long-term prospects in the industry and for the company are good. “Our future energy supply will be largely decentralized and will be based on renewable energies. We will actively help to shape the transformation in the energy sector through the development of entirely new product platforms, our excellent service and our global presence,” explains Pierre-Pascal Urbon.

About SMA
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.

SMA Solar Technology AG
Sonnenallee 1
34266 Niestetal

Head of Corporate Communications:
Anja Jasper
Tel.: +49 561 9522-2805

Press contact:
Susanne Henkel
Manager Corporate Press
Tel.: +49 561 9522-1124
Fax +49 561 9522-421400

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Manager Investor Relations
Tel. +49 561 9522-2222
Fax +49 561 9522-2223


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 The company accepts no obligation whatsoever to update these future-oriented statements or to adjust them to future events or developments.