The Managing Board of SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA/FWB: S92) has presented the restructuring measures announced in September to the employees. One of the main planned measures is the discontinuation of China as a location and the sale of the Chinese companies to the management there. The restructuring will involve a reduction of the global workforce by around 425 full-time positions. The restructuring measures are needed in order to return SMA to profitability quickly in an environment characterized by a sharp decline in prices. In addition, SMA will position itself for the future as a systems and solutions provider.
“Our deliberations with regard to restructuring centered on the issue of location. With the measures that have now been resolved, the SMA Managing Board is demonstrating its commitment to Germany as a business location. The measures are aimed at reducing SMA’s fixed costs and making optimal use of our capacity at the headquarters by focusing on our core competencies, outsourcing and automating activities, and reorganizing structures. Unfortunately, the reduction of the global workforce by around 425 full-time positions is unavoidable in this context. It is very important to us to implement the planned staff reduction in a socially responsible way,” explains SMA CEO Dr. Jürgen Reinert. “The sale of the business units in China to the management there will create good conditions for the positive further development of business on both sides. In order to secure SMA’s success in the long term, we will increasingly press ahead with the process begun to develop the company into a systems and solutions provider and will continue to invest in the future-oriented areas of energy management, storage integration, repowering, and digital business models.”
Subject to the approval of the works council, the planned restructuring measures are to be implemented starting from January 2019. Worldwide, the SMA Managing Board plans to cut around 425 of the total 3,307 full-time positions (not including temporary employees) as of December 31, 2018, until 2020. More than 100 of these full-time positions relate to Germany and more than 300 to the foreign locations. The SMA Managing Board is aiming to carry out the staff reduction in a socially responsible way. However, compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out at present.
The SMA Managing Board is confirming its sales and earnings guidance for the current fiscal year. It anticipates sales of €760 million to €780 million and negative EBITDA in the mid to high tens of millions of euros. For 2019, the SMA Managing Board is aiming for sales growth and positive EBITDA.