Roth & Rau suffers significant earnings loss; announces shorter working hours

08. November 2011 | Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Becky Stuart

Roth & Rau has introduced shorter working hours in response to the "drastic" decline in demand for its solar modules and systems. Due also to the deterioration of some customers’ creditworthiness, the company’s sales and EBIT have been hit hard.

Roth & Rau HQ in Germany

Roth & Rau says it cannot rule out further earnings risks in Q4 2011. Image: Roth & Rau.

While the Germany-based photovoltaic company was expecting the market to have stabilized somewhat, the continuing weak market conditions, which have seen high inventories, financing uncertainties and delayed customer orders, have impacted significantly on its financial figures for the first nine months of 2011.

"Against this backdrop," said Roth & Rau in a statement, "it was not possible to complete most of the projects currently underway in the third quarter of 2011 on schedule, as several customers delayed final acceptance of the products … It was also not possible to implement the sale of inventories budgeted for the third quarter in the way originally planned, thus leading to impairment requirements."

Preliminary figures

Based on its preliminary figures, Roth & Rau’s consolidated sales sequentially dropped by 24 percent, from €70.4 million in Q3 2010 to €54 million in Q3 2011. Its EBIT, however, saw the bigger loss, hitting €-52 million – this was said to be primarily caused by one-off items of €45 million.

"This figure includes write-downs of trade receivables and inventories, as well as provisions for contractual risks and structural measures to be implemented. Furthermore, it was necessary to post impairments of intangible assets," explained the company.

In terms of its preliminary figures for the first nine months of the year, consolidated sales fell from €189.2 million in 2010, to €146 million in 2011. Meanwhile, the EBIT once again took a huge battering, having decreased from a relatively healthy €3 million in 2010, to a poor €-76 million. The company says one-off items worth €58 million are the main reason for these "highly negative" earnings figures.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Roth & Rau says that further earnings risks are possible, which could result in additional one-off items of around €15 million.

To combat this, the company has introduced shorter working hours for at least six months. Furthermore, the new management board is said to be reviewing its CRiSP cost and structure optimization program. Its main components are said to be "being maintained and accelerated".

More detailed financial figures are scheduled to be released on November 15.

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