Bitterfeld-Wolfen, 11 May 2011 – Q-Cells SE (QCE; ISIN DE0005558662) has recorded a significant drop in sales compared to the same period last year as a result of weak market demand in the first quarter of 2011. Sales of EUR 125.1 million were approximately 46 percent below the value for the first quarter of 2010 (EUR 232.3 million), which however included the sale of the utility-scale Strasskirchen project (EUR 72.5 million) and the electricity trading company QCCS (EUR 20 million) that was sold at the end of 2010. The product business generated sales of EUR 98.7 million in the first quarter of 2011. The seasonal weakness of the first quarter was aggravated by regulatory uncertainty in the important solar markets of France and Italy.
Falling selling prices in the first quarter along with high prices for solar wafers and silver in combination with weak demand have negatively impacted the earnings position of the Company accordingly. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) totalled EUR 15.3 million, slightly below the prior year value of EUR 18.8 million. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) at EUR -10.6 million for the first quarter of 2011 also came in slightly below the prior year period (EUR -9.3 million). The net loss for the period was EUR -41.1 million (Q1 2010: EUR -46.4 million).