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12.08.2011 00:00

Supervisory Board agrees realignment package on innovation, cost reduction and productivity gains and changes Executive Board

Bitterfeld-Wolfen (Germany), 12 August 2011 – The Supervisory Board of Q-Cells SE yesterday approved the realignment package which the Executive Board had announced on Wednesday in order to reduce costs and agreed changes in two Executive Board positions. Furthermore, both the second quarter results 2011 and the half year report have been published today after the Executive Board had already announced key parts of the results on Wednesday.

The realignment programme

The approved realignment programme is aimed to strengthen the competitive position of the company further, in particular through the reduction of production costs for solar cells and modules and through additional savings of between 25 and 30 percent in central services. The plan is to avoid enforced redundancies. Research and development is being expanded to include the full spectrum from solar cells to solar systems and applications to become even quicker at developing marketable products with competitive system costs. Sales activities will also focus even more strongly on customer groups and international target markets and sales structures will be simplified. Overall the aim is to strengthen innovation, improve productivity and reduce costs.

Changes in the Executive Board

In its meeting on 11 August 2011, the supervisory board has appointed Andreas von Zitzewitz as a Member of the Executive Board. He will assume the position of COO and will be responsible for Production, Research & Development, Purchasing, Logistics and Quality. CEO Nedim Cen had temporarily assumed these tasks since Gerhard Rauter left the Company in May 2011. Andreas von Zitzewitz has extensive management experience in the fields assigned to him, which he had gathered in his last position as an Executive Board member of the solar company Conergy and prior to that at the semiconductor producer Infineon Technologies and at Siemens. The 51-year old electrical engineer, who graduated with a doctorate, will focus on strengthening Q-Cells’ competitive position with regard to crystalline solar cells, solar modules and solar systems as well as CIGS thin-film modules of the subsidiary Solibro.
„I am delighted to have secured the services of Andreas von Zitzewitz. He is an experienced manager who will focus on driving innovation and productivity and is in a position to make a key contribution to improving the competitive position of the company,“ comments Karlheinz Hornung, Head of the Supervisory Board of Q-Cells SE.

Hans-Gerd Füchtenkort, up until now responsible for Marketing & Sales, has decided to step down from his Board position and leave the company. Since joining Q-Cells in May 2010 he has laid the foundations for a strong international sales organisation and established the necessary structures for strong performance in the future. He has offered to remain an advisor to the company. Until a decision on a possible successor has been taken, Nedim Cen will take on responsibility for Sales & Marketing on an interim basis.

„We thank Hans-Gerd Füchtenkort for his achievements in implementing the international sales structure. His extensive experience that was brought to bear during the implementation phase will remain available to the company“, stated Karlheinz Hornung, Head of the Supervisory Board of Q-Cells SE.

Half Year Report 2011

Key parts of the half year report as published today had already been announced by the Executive Board of Q-Cells SE on Wednesday. Thus, Q-Cells SE was able to increase sales revenues significantly compared to the extremely weak first quarter, but recorded another operating loss in the second quarter due to continuing price pressure and considerable one-off effects.
The Company expects a negative EBIT for the full year 2011 despite signs of a recovery in the markets. The approved realignment package is intended to contribute to a return to an operating profit in what is still expected to be a difficult financial year 2012.