Bitterfeld-Wolfen, 24 February 2009 – Q-Cells SE (QCE; ISIN DE0005558662) has published the preliminary figures for fiscal 2008. In the past year, production of crystalline solar cells was increased to 570.4 Megawatt peak (MWp) (same period in the previous year: 389.2 MWp) and consequently by 47% compared with 2007. Production by all the Group’s investments in thin-film technologies totalled 15.4 MWp, with Q-Cells’ fully consolidated companies contributing approx. 4 MWp to this figure. As a result, the Group’s total production stood at around 574 MWp. In 2008, sales increased by 46% to EUR 1,251.3 million (previous year: EUR 858.9 million), Q-Cells International’s project business contributed EUR 91.9 million to this figure (2007: EUR 13.5 million). In the fourth quarter, Group sales therefore amounted to EUR 319.4 million, which equates to an increase of 13% compared with the same quarter in the previous year.
In 2008, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to EUR 205.1 million in total (2007: EUR 197.0 million). Without taking into account the considerably increased start-up costs for the (fully consolidated) new technologies, Q-Cells achieved an EBIT of EUR 224.4 million in its core business (including the one-off effect of the ramp-up costs for the factory in Malaysia) and consequently an EBIT margin of 17%. Operating income in the fourth quarter, which was heavily influenced by the sales crisis at the year end, therefore stood at EUR 32.2 million for the Group and EUR 35.3 million for the core business. This meant that the targets for operating business, which were revised in December last year, were met.
Net income in 2008 rose to ca. EUR 190.5 million and is consequently some 28% up on the figure for the previous year (EUR 148.4 million). Q-Cells International’s project business accounted for a positive contribution to Group income of EUR 6.4 million in the first full business year.
Excluding the profit contribution from the stake in Renewable Energy Corporation ASA (REC), Q-Cells’ net income for the year stood at EUR 140.2 million (2007: EUR 127.1 million). For the current year, Q-Cells SE continues to expect production volume in the Group of between 800 MWp and 1 GWp. Including the contribution to sales by Q-Cells International’s rapidly expanding project business, which has projects between 100 and 200 MWp in the planning stage, the Group is aiming to achieve sales of between EUR 1.7 and 2.1 billion (previous target EUR 1.75 to 2.25 billion).
In view of the company’s development as well as the continuing globalisation and differentiation of the photovoltaic market, the existing Executive Board will be supplemented by an additional member. With effect from 1 April the Supervisory Board of Q-Cells has appointed Dr. Marko Schulz as fifth member of the Executive Board with responsibility for “Sales & Systems”. The 44 year old, who among other things spent 13 years playing a leading role in projects in the energy and public sectors at McKinsey, has been responsible for the Group’s project business as CEO of Q-Cells International since July 2007.
A presentation on the 2008 preliminary figures can be downloaded from the Investor Relations section of the Q-Cells SE’s website (www.q-cells.de).