SMA announces job cuts of over 1,000

The world’s biggest photovoltaic inverter manufacturer has said that due to reduced solar support in Europe, it forecasts plummeting sales in 2013 of between €0.9 billion to €1.3 billion, compared to the predicted €1.3 billion to €1.5 billion expected to be achieved this year.

"The growth impulses of the non-European photovoltaic markets are not sufficient to compensate for the expected decrease in European demand," stated Pierre-Pascal Urbon, speaker of SMA’s Managing Board.

He added, "Due to a strongly growing price pressure we cannot compensate for such a drop in sales in such a short time only through productivity improvements and technical innovations. In the best case scenario, we expect a balanced operating result for 2013. At present, we cannot exclude the possibility of a loss."

As such, the company has said it will gradually cut 450 of its worldwide workforce and terminate 600 of its temporary workers. It did not indicate which regions would be affected, however.

SMA has said it will not cut any jobs in its development business, and plans to invest over €100 million in R&D in the next year. "Developing completely new product platforms should reduce production costs significantly by 2014, while at the same time setting new standards for energy management," said the company in a statement released.

It added that self-consumption will become a key market segment in Europe and America. And that opportunities exist for the development of power plants in the world’s sunnier regions, and for solar-diesel-hybrid solutions.

It is hoped that SMA can return to profitability in 2014, if production costs are reduced.