Bitterfeld-Wolfen, November 14, 2007 - Q-Cells AG (QCE; WKN 555866) presented its report for the first nine months of 2007. The world's second largest manufacturer of solar cells has continued its expansionary course and increased production in the first nine months of 2007 to 256.6 megawatt peak (MWp) (same period in the previous year: 180.1 MWp). This equates to growth of 42% compared with the first nine months of 2006. Following the start-up of the new production line V, production volume in the third quarter of 2007, at 96.8 MWp, was well up on production volume in the previous quarter (81.8 MWp).
In the first nine months of the year, sales rose by 50 % to EUR 577.1 million (EUR 383.9 million). In the third quarter, sales stood at EUR 226.7 million, which equates to an increase of 61% on the same period in the previous year or 21% on the second quarter of 2007. Operating income (EBIT) for the first nine months grew by 44 % to EUR 131.1 million (EUR 90.9 million). EBIT for the third quarter of 2007 amounted to EUR 50.2 million and consequently increased by 43 % compared with the same period in the previous year or 13% on the previous quarter. The EBIT margin (in relation to sales and inventory changes) was maintained at a high level – both in comparison with the same period in the previous year and in comparison with the second quarter – at around 23%.
Net income for the period covered by the first three quarters totaled EUR 111.2 million (EUR 62.4 million). This equates to growth of 78% in comparison with the same period in the previous year. Net income of EUR 33.9 million is reported for the third quarter, an increase of 36% compared with the same quarter in the previous year. Net income for the period covered by the second and third quarters contains extraordinary results from the REC stake of EUR 10.5 million (Q2) and EUR -3.2 million (Q3). In the core business (excluding extraordinary and ordinary income from REC), net income in the third quarter, at EUR 33.3 million, is approximately 23% up on the adjusted figure for net income in the second quarter (EUR 27.1 million).
In the course of further internationalizing the Group's activities, the export ratio increased to 59.5% and has thus reached the target set for the full year ahead of schedule.
On the basis of current figures, Q-Cells AG is affirming its forecast for fiscal year 2007. Given a production volume of approx. 370 MWp and sales of well over EUR 800 million, the Company is expecting net income for the year in its core business of approximately EUR 120 million. In addition, net income for the year will be increased by the effects of the REC stake.
For 2008 Q-Cells AG is now expecting a far higher sales volume of approximately EUR 1.2 billion (previously: at least EUR 1 billion). Before taking account of the contribution of the REC stake to its income, the Company is aiming for a net income margin of 14%.
Q-Cells is also adjusting its sales expectations for 2009 significantly upwards and raises the sales target from at least EUR 1.4 billion to approx. EUR 1.7 billion.
In 2010, Q-Cells AG expects a production volume in its core business of more than 1 GWp and of between 400 and 600 MWp in its thin-film business.
The report as of 30 September 2007 and a current presentation of the Company are available for downloading on the Q-Cells AG's website (www.q-cells.com) in the Investor Relations section.