Q-Cells Sales Rise on German Demand; Potential Buyers Identified

Q-Cells SE (QCE), the German solar-cell and module maker that filed for insolvency in April, said first- quarter sales grew 12 percent, buoyed by domestic demand as its search for a buyer continued.

Sales climbed to 140 million euros ($178 million) from 125.1 million euros a year earlier as the German government’s planned subsidy cuts “significantly stimulated” demand, the Thalheim-based company said today in a report on its website.

Q-Cells, which hired Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. to look for an investor, said potential buyers have been “identified and contacted throughout the world.” Interested parties include financial and strategic investors, according to the company, which is also studying the possibility of a debt-to-equity swap that most creditors agreed to in February.

Germany’s BSW solar industry association said in April it expected a rally in installations through September as developers sought to beat planned subsidy cuts. Profit margins have been squeezed after a glut of cells and panels dragged down prices, and at least six German solar companies filed for insolvency since December.

Q-Cells, which this month agreed to sell its Solibro thin- film business to China’s Hanergy Holding Group, said production has increased in the second quarter amid higher demand. That may help it build on a 37 percent jump in first-quarter sales volumes.

The company had about 200 million euros in cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter, down from about 305 million euros at the end of last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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