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Dark clouds forecast by solar cell maker

we’ve all been anxiously watching the cleantech and renewable energy sector for signs of the impact of the recession and global financial crisis and there was some bad news today when the world’s largest solar cell manufacturer Q-Cells cut its profit forecast and gave a gloomy forecast going into next year.

Q-Cells said the grim economic outlook had led to some customers postponing deliveries and warned that demand for its products will remain subdued until the middle of 2009.

A statement from the German company said:

“Over recent days, the uncertainty and the weakening market demand arising from the financial crisis have resulted in a number of Q-Cells’ customers postponing agreed deliveries until next year. These volumes could not be placed elsewhere at short notice.”

Q-Cells shares fell on the news with other solar manufacturers also falling because of the results.

The company said 2008 sales are now expected to hit €1.23bn, compared with the previous forecast of €1.35bn, while the profit forecast is down from €215m to €185m.

For 2009 the company is forecasting sales revenues of between €1.75bn and €2.25bn compared to its previous forecast of €2.25bn. But the company said it expects demand to pick up again in the second half of 2009.

Q-Cells also said its investments in 2009 will focus on the expansion of production capacities for crystalline solar cells and majority interests in thin-film companies.

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