In a sign that photovoltaic equipment suppliers face a near-impossible market in the near future, Manz has begun cutting jobs from its photovoltaic operations in Germany. The company also aims to layoff part of its international staff, reports the newspaper "Frankfurter Rundschau" (Saturday edition). According to the report a further 38 staff in Slovakia and Hungary will be laid off. A corporate spokesperson confirmed this information.
A total of 31 jobs in Slovakia and seven in Hungary will be cut. In addition, approximately 100 other staff in Asia have been dismissed this year, Manz spokesman Axel Bartmann told photovoltaik, the German-language sister publication of pv magazine.
The photovoltaic equipment supplier from Reutlingen, in Germanys south, explained the move with the constantly low level of new investments in new production machinery for the solar industry. In the course of the layoffs existing overcapacities would also be reduced.
"I regard the structural optimization measures that have now been taken as an important and necessary step toward ensuring the future survivability of our company. I very much personally regret the first layoffs in our 25-year corporate history we even hired additional staff in the crisis year of 2009," noted Dieter Manz, founder, chairman of the board and CEO at Manz AG.
In its report on the first nine months of 2012, Manz complained about the strong decline in investments in the solar industry. While the other divisions at Manz generated profits, the photovoltaic segment accounted for an EBIT loss of more than 17 million (US$22 million).
According to information provided by Manz, the share of the photovoltaic division in the companys gross sales amount to only approximately ten percent. Last year it constituted approximately 30 percent of total sales. Apart from photovoltaic machines, Manz also manufactures batteries and displays
Translated by Alan Faulcon and edited by Jonathan Gifford.