Q-Cells predicts weak sales through 2009

 Q Cells predicts weak sales through 2009

Germany’s solar-cell giant Q-Cells has rubbished its previous guidance for 2009 and says it will report a pre-tax loss of €62m ($86.6m) in the second quarter, thanks to weak sales and the downward spiral of solar-cell prices globally.
The €62m loss comes after a recording an earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of €15m last quarter. Q-Cells forecasts its second-quarter revenues will fall to €142m, a drop of nearly 40% compared to the prior quarter.

“The prolonged weak development of the global photovoltaic markets has continued to negatively impact the business development of Q-Cells in the second quarter,” the company says.

Shares in Q-Cells tumbled more than 11% in early trading on the news.

In addition to lower sales volumes and weak prices for its cells, Q-Cells blamed the postponement of a “large-scale project” for the fall in revenue.

Q-Cells adds that due to existing agreements, it has not been able to reduce the cost of silicon wafers in line with the tumbling prices for the solar cells it manufactures. The company says it is looking at further reductions in production, and will “intensify and accelerate” its current cost-cutting programme.

Thanks to the “generally tough market” the company predicts for the rest of the year, it has scrapped all guidance on earnings and production.

“The seasonal market upturn which the industry had been anticipating to start in the second quarter has broadly not materialised for Q-Cells as yet,” it says.