World's Leading Solar Cell Maker Hit by Economic Conditions

Cuts earnings forecast but still sees increase in sales

The world's leading maker of solar cells, Q-Cells, said on Dec. 9 it has been forced to cut its 2008 earnings forecast because of the global economic downturn.

Q-Cells cut its 2008 sales forecast to 1.23 billion euros (US$1.58 billion) from an earlier estimate of 1.35 billion euros, giving a net profit of 185 million euros instead of 215 million euros.

Q-Cells had confirmed its targets on December 2 but said it had since been caught by "short notice unexpected developments."

The company said a number of its customers had postponed "agreed deliveries until next year (owing to)... uncertainty and weakening market demand arising from the financial crisis."

It also lowered its 2009 sales forecast to 1.75-2.25 billion euros, which would nonetheless be still an increase of around 40% on this year's levels.

The previous 2009 sales estimate was for "around 2.25 billion euros."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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