Thalheim, May 15, 2006 – Q-Cells AG (QCE; WKN 555866) has presented its report for the first quarter of 2006. Q-Cells AG, the European market leader and world’s second largest solar cell producer, continued on its growth course, increasing production for the first three months of 2006 by approx. 80 % to 53.7 megawatt peaks (MWp) from 29.9 MWp a year earlier.
Sales, earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) and net income for the period rose more than expected according to the preliminary figures published on April 18, 2006. Sales increased 117 % to EUR 114.7 million from EUR 52.8 million in the prior-year period. EBIT and net income grew even more than sales, increasing 152 % to EUR 26.5 million from EUR 10.5 million a year earlier and 159 % to EUR 17 million from EUR 6.5 million a year earlier, respectively.
Based on these figures, Q-Cells AG confirms its expectations for fiscal 2006. The company at present expects to increase production to approx. 255 MWp (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).
As of the end of the first quarter of 2006, the company had an annual production capacity of 257 MWp at its Thalheim location (equal to a nominal capacity of 321 MWp) and employed 794 people. By the end of 2006, production capacity should increase by 79 MWp to 336 MWp (corresponding to a nominal capacity of 420 MWp) based on conversion, expansion and optimization of the existing lines I–IV.
The First Quarter 2006 Report and current company presentation are available for download from the Investor Relations section of Q-Cells AG's website at www.q-cells.com.