Thalheim, November 14, 2006 - Q-Cells AG (QCE; WKN 555866) has published its quarterly report as of September 30, 2006. As the European market leader and world’s second-largest manufacturer of solar cells, Q-Cells AG has continued on its growth course, increasing production for the first nine months of 2006 by approximately 63% to 180.1 MWp (September 30, 2005: 110.7 MWp).
Sales, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), and net income increased significantly in the first nine months of 2006: Sales increased by 95% to EUR 383.9 million (September 30, 2005: EUR 196.9 million). EBIT and net income for the period grew even more than sales, with EBIT climbing 126% to EUR 90.9 million (September 30, 2005: EUR 40.3 million) and net income surging 150% to EUR 62.0 million (September 30, 2005: EUR 24.8 million).
Based on the Company’s excellent performance in the third quarter of 2006, Q-Cells AG is once again raising its forecast for the current fiscal year. Taking into account the fact that December is a shortened production month due to maintenance work, production is expected to reach approximately 255 MWp (2005: 165.7 MWp), sales approximately EUR 525 million (2005: EUR 299.4 million), EBIT up to EUR 120 million (2005: EUR 63.2 million), and net income up to EUR 85 million (2005: EUR 39.9 million). Previous forecasts assumed an EBIT of EUR 115 million and net income of EUR 75 million.
The export ratio was 48%, up significantly from 35.8% in the prior-year period. The Company is still aiming to increase the export ratio to 60% by the end of 2007. At the Thalheim location, Q-Cells AG had an annual production capacity of 312 MWp in its core business as of September 30, 2006 (corresponding to a nominal capacity of 390 MWp). By the end of 2007, production capacity is expected to increase to 432 MWp (corresponding to a nominal capacity of 540 MWp) based on completion of the first two stages of production line V.
In addition to further expanding its core business, enlarging the technology division, and building a research and development line, Q-Cells AG is continuing to invest in new technologies. In the third quarter, EverQ GmbH started construction of a second production line with a production capacity of 50 MWp. Brilliant 234. GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of Q-Cells, has been constructing its first pilot line for the production of silicon thin-film modules since August 2006. The new line is expected to reach a capacity of 25 MWp by the end of 2007.
Furthermore, Q-Cells acquired 12.39% of the shares in The Solaria Corporation (USA) in the third quarter. This company has developed a low-concentrating solar technology on the basis of standard silicon solar cells.
At the end of the third quarter, Q-Cells AG had a total of 906 employees in the Group. This represents an increase of 37 employees since mid-2006.
The Third Quarter 2006 Report and the current company presentation are available for download from the Investor Relations section of Q-Cells AG's website (www.q-cells.com).