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10.08.2011 14:35

Management Board of Q-Cells agrees realignment measures and write-offs: significant loss due to one-time effects

Bitterfeld-Wolfen (Germany), 10 August 2011 – As a result of changing market conditions the Management Board of Q-Cells SE today agreed a realignment programme and taken significant write-offs on tangible fixed assets and inventories. The impairment charges on tangible fixed assets of the German production sites amount to €139.7 million, the existing inventory of the Group was written down in the second quarter by €73.2 million. Including the expenses of €43.6 million associated with long term delivery contracts, one-off items in the second quarter amount to a total of €256.5 million.

Q-Cells SE was able to significantly increase sales revenues in the past quarter compared to the first quarter of 2011. The Company generated sales revenues of €316.0 million in the second quarter (Q1 2011: €125.1 million), mainly on account of strong systems business. In addition to one-time effects, idle costs as a result of low capacity utilisation and fall in the prices for solar cells and modules led to a total operating loss of EUR 307.7 million (H1 2011: EUR -318.3 million) in the second quarter. Adjusted for one-time effects as well as idle costs, the operating result in the second quarter amounted to €-24.4 million. After interest and taxes, the loss for the second quarter of 2011 amounted to €354.8 million (H1 2011: €-395.8 million).

In response to the difficult market situation and negative results in the first half of the year, the board has decided a package of measures for the strengthening Q-Cells’ competitive position. This programme is subject to approval by the Supervisory Board. After production was cut back in the second quarter of 2011, the additional package of measures will now tighten the belt further by streamlining the organisational structure and optimising costs.

The implemented measures aim to significantly reduce the production costs of solar cells and modules. To achieve this, Q-Cells is focusing production on high-performance systems, particularly at the Company’s Malaysian site, which will run at full capacity in the second half of the year. Production capacities for solar cells at the Company headquarters in Bitterfeld-Wolfen will be permanently reduced to 50%. In Administration, 25% to 30% of costs are to be saved by pooling tasks and streamlining the organisational structure and processes. The Company aims to avoid compulsory redundancies when streamlining the organisational structure and adjusting production.

Q-Cells SE expects sales revenues of around €1 billion and an operating loss in the three-digit million euro range for the full year 2011, as it will incur more one-off effects for the planned package of measures in the second half of 2011. At the end of 2011, Q-Cells plans to have cash and cash equivalents of between €300 million and €350 million amongst others based on the reduction of working capital.

By implementing the current package of measures, continuously improving its cost positions and further developing the strategic segments Residential as well as Commercial & Industrial, Q-Cells aims to generate positive operating income (EBIT) again in 2012.