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Q-cells solar firm loses finance head as results continue to slide

The Local · 14 Nov 2011, 09:11

Published: 14 Nov 2011 09:11 GMT+01:00

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Hopes of a German manufacturing renaissance led by Green technology will not be boosted by the unremitting gloom from Q-cells which was last year the tenth biggest solar panel manufacturer in the world.

The third quarter of this year saw turnover down to €228.8 million, little more than half of the €402 million in the same period last year. The 2010 third quarter profit of €36.7 million had been turned into an operating loss of €47.3 million, the company announced on Monday.

Analysts had expected a clear downturn in turnover, but not such a large one. Chief Financial Officer Marion Helmes also announced on Monday she was leaving the firm on her own request.

Turnover of around €1 billion for the full year is still expected, while the operating result is expected to be a three-digit million loss.

Q-cells was launched on the German TecDax stock index at the end of 2005, and from 2007 has been in the green Dax, the Handelsblatt reported on Monday. By the end of that year, its share price had rocketed from €20 to €80, and then in the summer of 2008, to a peak of more than €97.

The company was considered a great example of how to run a new green-tech company. A dip on the stock markets in 2009 turned into a collapse through the whole of the following year, landing at less than €2.50 a share in December 2010.

And despite a good business year in 2010, including a return to profit and an end of year balance sheet that exceeded its own as well as analysts’ expectations, the share prices refused to recover, hitting lows of €0.50 in March 2010.

Story continues below…

The company’s performance followed its share prices down, and this year fell into loss, despite an increase in sales. Analysts have started talking about a possible bankruptcy, while last month 250 jobs were cut at the company’s headquarters.

The Local/DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:18 November 14, 2011 by lwexcel
This is pretty interesting. The loss of income comes as a result of a MAJOR drop in the prices of solar panels, being as their components have been produced on a mass scale. There was an article that came out last week in the states, that was practically blaming the whole issue on Germany and China. Now if Germany is having problems I wonder who is actually to blame ;).
16:37 November 14, 2011 by derExDeutsche
follow the money, I would not be at all surprised if Angela Merkel sank some tax payer funds into this catastrophe. Angela Merkel is to the political left of Barack Obama, and he certainly funneled money to his political cronies and pet projects.
19:13 November 14, 2011 by jmclewis
Solar Cells are not a good way to make large amounts of power, the only way these companies stay alive is government economic and regulation support.
21:51 November 14, 2011 by cobalisk
Claiming that Chancellor Merkel is to the left of Obama is like claiming that water is wet.

Every politician here is to the left of Obama because we are in Europe! Good god man, Westerwelle is openly gay and he was the head of the FDP.

Please stop trying to make Europe into America. It isn't, thankfully.
06:39 November 15, 2011 by narfmaster
If you have ever tried to put solar panels on the roof of a building in Germany, you will know why the industry is having trouble. Any power you generate for use by yourself is taxed VAT. 19%. Yes, that's right, power you create using your panels for yourself. The part of the industry that is subsidized is the power you generate in excess and sell to producers. What you sell to the grid is sold at above market rates. This has the immediate affect that small players (families) are out. Unless you have a massive roof and use little power, it is not cost effective. Worse, in April of this year, Angie and her FDP friends started cutting the subsidies. Every year they reduce and should be gone in 9 years from now. So, once again derExDeutsche, what you say is absolutely the opposite of true because you have no idea what you are talking about but are talking nonetheless. Angie is taking money away from alternative energy and even punishing private use. If she did not do so, everyone would be putting up panels as it is monetarily worth it and traditional power industries would be in trouble.
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