Bitterfeld-Wolfen, 07. March 2012, According to preliminary, unaudited figures, Q-Cells was able to increase its revenues in the fourth quarter 2011 as compared to the previous quarter to EUR 353 million (Q3: EUR 229 million). As a result, the company's sales revenues in 2011 exceeded the one-billion mark, reaching EUR 1,023 million. Production volume in 2011 amounted to 783 megawattpeak (MWp), of which 717 MWp were attributable to solar cell production (Malaysia's share: nearly 60%) and 66 MWp to production of thin-film modules by subsidiary Solibro GmbH.
Additionally, the company processed crystalline modules with a volume of 390 MWp at external partners' facilities as well as in its own module processing facilities in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany. These solar modules were both used in Q-Cells' own projects as well as for module sales.
Due to the challenging market situation with persistently falling prices in the fourth quarter 2011 as well as the expected difficult market situation in 2012, the company was forced to conduct impairments on its property, plant and equipment as well as on inventories based on its updated business plan. One-off effects therefore had a strong influence on the fourth quarter's EBIT. Impairments on property, plant and equipment of approx. EUR 226 million (net) became necessary after an update and validation of the medium-term business plan.
Impairments for inventories totalled about EUR 53 million. Moreover, the provisions for onerous contracts as well as further one-off effects as part of necessary purchasing contract negotiations burdened EBIT by approx. EUR 36 million. Reported EBIT for the fourth quarter totalled approx. EUR -355 million (2011 in total: about EUR -720 million). Without taking these additional effects into account, EBIT for the last quarter totalled approx. EUR -40 million - slightly above the previous quarter's EBIT (EUR -47 million). Net income for the fourth quarter 2011 after interest and taxes totalled approx. EUR -393 million, according to preliminary figures. Net loss for the whole year 2011 was approx. EUR 846 million.
Already at the end of January 2012, Q-Cells SE reported the loss of shareholders' equity in the individual financial statement in accordance with German GAAP (HGB) and issued an invitation to an extraordinary general meeting in Leipzig on 9 March.
Furthermore, Q-Cells reported at the start of 2012 that cash and cash equivalents had increased to approx. EUR 305 million by the end of 2011, of which EUR 69 million are restricted cash and cash equivalents. One substantial reason for the increase in cash and cash equivalents was the reduction in net working capital, which exceeded the impairments on inventories. Net working capital amounted to about EUR 152 million at year's end, while still totalling EUR 287 million at the end of the third quarter 2011. Net debt decreased by the end of 2011 to EUR approx. 432 million (end of Q3 2011: EUR 515 million) in particular due to the increase in cash and cash equivalents.
All financial information is considered preliminary and has not yet finally been approved by a public auditor. They are based on the assumption of a going concern that can only be confirmed after both creditors and shareholders have approved the planned financial restructuring measures. Further changes to this financial information may become necessary due to up-to-date information.
The company expects further losses during the demanding 2012 financial year before achieving a positive EBITDA in 2013.
Source: Q-Cells SE