SMA considers further job cuts of 1,000

The consolidation of the photovoltaic inverter market is taking its toll at SMA Solar Technology AG. The board had already expressed its concerns at March’s press conference on financial statements. "As a market leader SMA we are affected more strongly by the decline in demand, Anja Jasper," the company’s spokesperson, told pv magazine.

Since the last quarter of 2012, the SMA board has had to deal with increasing uncertainty on the German photovoltaic market, as well as a fall in the inverter demand.

Indeed, revenues of the world’s biggest photovoltaic inverter manufacturer have dropped 47.6% to €212.3 in Q1 2013, according to the financial results released today by the company. "We cannot stay disconnected to the latest market developments, and therefore we must adapt our cost and employee structures to the changed conditions and revenues," Jasper told pv magazine. At present time, the board is evaluating the necessary measures. She declined to comment on concrete targets and workforce cuts.

In addition, SMA CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon has already informed the staff about the company’s difficult situation, according to a recent report published on German newspaper "Hessische/Niedersächsishce Allgemeine" (HNA). The local media outlet said that 1,000 of the total 5,500 employees across the globe would be laid off. Negotiations between the work committee and the labor union are supposed to start in the near future.

In October of 2012, SMA had announced significant job cuts. Back then, the German manufacturer said that it had plans to gradually terminate contracts of 450 employees worldwide and 600 temporary workers.

Finally, Jasper confirmed that they will not change the company’s revenue and earnings forecast for 2013 released last fall. At that time, it expected sales for 2013 to be between €0.9 billion and €1.3 billion.

Translated and edited by Vera von Kreutzbruck.