Meyer Burger to temporarily stop wire saw production

MB Wafertec has been running at half its nameplate capacity for most of the year, having produced an average of 20 saws a week. May proved to be the only time this year when the company hit full capacity, having produced 40 a week.

However, despite the fact capacity is already under utilized, the company has said it will now have to completely stop production of its saws for three weeks in November.

Between 100 and 150 employees will be affected by the action, a spokesperson told pv magazine. Meyer Burger has said that those working in production will deal with this through the reduction of existing overtime hours and by taking the balance of unused holidays.

"Additional measures such as the use of unpaid leave or the possibility of reduced working hours are being considered for December 2011 and will depend upon the situation and degree of capacity utilization," continued the company in a statement released.

Meyer Burger says that there has been a "noticeable" change in customer behavior, due to both the economic slowdown and feed-in tariff reductions.

"MB Wafertec is feeling the decline in its customers’ readiness to invest mainly in incoming orders for new production equipment," said the statement. It added, "As soon as the customers’ preparedness to invest recovers, the company will be able to increase its production and delivery capacities accordingly within the shortest period of time."

In relation to its full year 2011 financial targets, Meyer Burger has confirmed that it expects to achieve net sales of approximately CHF 1,200 million (around €979.3 million; USD$1.3 billion) and an EBITDA margin of between 23 to 25 percent for the fiscal year 2011. This excludes the pro-rata results of Roth & Rau AG.