Bitterfeld-Wolfen, 13 November 2008 - Q-Cells SE (QCE; ISIN DE0005558662) published its Q3 report as of 30 September 2008. Production increased in the first nine months by 63 % to 417.0 Megawatt peak (MWp) (9M 2007: 256.6 MWp). At comparable production capacity, production volume in Q3 stood at 153.5 MWp, slightly up on Q2 (146.5 MWp).
Sales for the first three quarters increased by 61 % to € 931.9 million (9M 2007: € 577.1 million). For Q3 this means sales growth of approximately 14 % compared with the previous quarter. In the first nine months, Q-Cells SE achieved an EBIT of € 189.1 million - not taking into account the start-up costs of new technologies. Taking these start up losses into account, Group EBIT amounted to € 172.9 million (increase by 32% compared to previous year). EBIT for the third quarter amounted to € 59.2 million not including start-up costs and € 53.8 million when taking them into consideration. The main reason for the reduction of operating income in Q3 was considerable wafer delivery cutbacks by the biggest supplier, REC. As a consequence, expensive spot volumes had to be bought in the short-term.
EBIT margin in the first nine months for the core business amounted to around 21 % (Group: 18 %) and to approx. 17 % (Group: 15 %) in Q3. Without the effect of lower deliveries, the EBIT margin in Q3 would have been stable at approx. 22 % for the core business and 20 % for the Group.
Net income for the reporting period (after minorities) amounted to € 155.7 million (9M 2007: € 111.2 million) or to € 124.7 million when not taking the effects of the stake in REC into account (9M 2007: € 84.2 million). This corresponds to an increase of 40 % and 48 % respectively compared with the same period in the previous year. Net income for Q3 amounted to € 73.5 million, up by 166 % compared with Q2. Without the REC effects, the company achieved net income for the period totalling € 49.9 million (up 32 % on the previous quarter).
Outlook for the full year 2008 and the following years
For the ongoing year, Q-Cells SE confirms the goal of a production volume in the core business of approximately 585 MWp (plus production volume of all thin-film subsidiaries from 10 MWp to 20 MWp). As a result of the positive development of the project business Q-Cells International, the company is slightly raising its forecast for Group sales to approximately € 1.35 billion (previously € 1.325 billion). Despite reduced wafer deliveries in Q3, the company confirms the goal for EBIT totalling approximately € 260 million for 2008. The Group’s net income should now amount to approximately € 215 million (previously € 200 million), particularly due to the increased REC income contribution (€ 36 million instead of the previous € 23 million).
Q-Cells SE expects to generate a production volume of more than 1 GWp throughout the Group in 2009. Furthermore, Q-Cells SE confirms its sales forecast for 2009 totalling approx. € 2.25 billion. Additional to that, phases of expansion allowing a production volume totalling approx. 1.8 GWp in 2010 are financed at this point. Therefore, an average growth of the production volume of approximately 70 % p.a. has already been secured for the two following years. A higher production volume (including thin-film companies) of approx. 2.5 GWp for 2010 is possible, once additional funds can be raised.
The nine-month report and a current company presentation can be downloaded from the Investor Relations section of the Q-Cells SE’s website (www.q-cells.com).