SMA Solar cuts hundreds of jobs

Fight with Chinese competitors

The decline in prices is too high. The solar technology group SMA Solar therefore sees no other option than to cut jobs. The company has a total of 3300 employees, and a good ten percent of the jobs shall be cut. SMA Solar also intends to withdraw from the Chinese market.

Price decline of 15 to 20 percent expected

Ulrich Hadding told the Reuters news agency that the price war with competitors from China would intensify in the coming months. The reason for the high rivalry in the market is that the Chinese government is slowing down the expansion of solar plants. Producers are therefore increasingly working on foreign markets.

SMA expects prices for the entire product range to be reduced by at least 15 to 20 percent in 2019. By cutting jobs, the Group intends to prepare for the lower price level.

SMA lowers annual targets again

The management buyout in China alone will eliminate 300 jobs. In future, the focus will be on the Kassel and Krakow locations. CFO Hadding expects sales of between 760 and 780 million euros in 2018. The operating loss (EBITDA is expected to be in the mid to upper double-digit million euro range). Originally, a sales target of EUR 900 million to EUR 1 billion had been set for 2018. This has now been revised downwards once again.

Nevertheless, SMA intends to invest between 45 and 47 million euros in the restructuring. The funds for this will be booked this year. In 2019, the company plans to return to profitability (EBITDA). Profitability on an EBITDA basis should then be achieved by 2020.

Hadding is sticking to its electricity storage business in particular, which should help to increase sales by 120 million euros in 2019.