Thalheim, April 18, 2006 - Q-Cells AG (QCE; WKN 555866) presents its Annual Report for 2005 as well as the first preliminary figures for the first quarter of 2006 at the Annual Press Conference held on Wednesday, April 19, 2006.
Q-Cells AG, the European market leader and world's second-largest manufacturer of solar cells, has continued on a growth course, increasing production for the first quarter of 2006 by 80% to 53.7 MWp (Q1 2005: 29.9 MWp). Sales increased by 116% to EUR 114 million (Q1 2005: EUR 52.8 million). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and net income rose disproportionately high, increasing 129% and 138% respectively to EUR 24 million (Q1 2005: EUR 10.5 million) and EUR 15.5 million (Q1 2005: EUR 6.5 million) respectively.
Based on the preliminary figures for the first quarter 2006 and the current contracted and secured supply of silicon wafers, an input product, the company at present expects to increase production to approx. 255 MWp in fiscal 2006 (2005: 165.7 MWp). For fiscal 2006, Q-Cells accordingly anticipates sales of approx. EUR 480 million (2005: EUR 299.4 million), EBIT of approx. EUR 100 million (2005: EUR 63.2 million) and net income of approx. EUR 65 million (2005: 39.9 million).
Q-Cells AG will continue with the scheduled expansion of production capacities by completing production line IV and expanding and optimizing lines I-IV by the end of 2006. This should increase production capacity to 336 MWp (equal to a nominal capacity of 420 MWp) by the end of 2006. For 2007, a production increase to 316 MWp is expected.
The contracted and secured supply of silicon and silicon wafers, the input materials for solar cell production, will enable the company to expand production capacities. Q-Cells AG has already contracted for wafer and silicon supplies for a total output of 256 MWp in 2006.
A foundation for continued growth in the following years has also been laid: Delivery quantities of 298 MWp have been secured for 2007, 389 MWp for 2008 and 1,178 MWp for 2009-2016, and negotiations for additional quantities are underway.
The 2005 Annual Report and current company presentation are available on Wednesday morning for download from the Investor Relations section of Q-Cells AG's website at www.q-cells.com.