Meyer Burger to Eliminate Additional 250 Jobs to Stem Losses

Meyer Burger Technology AG (MBTN), a Swiss maker of cutting machinery for solar panels, said it plans to cut about 250 jobs after reducing the workforce 19 percent this year amid declining sales.

The measures will allow the company to break even in terms of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization next year, Thun-based Meyer Burger said in a statement today. Meyer Burger also forecast an Ebitda loss of 20 million Swiss francs ($21 million) to 40 million francs this year. That compares with an earlier forecast of higher operating profit.

Meyer Burger will cut 50 positions at the Hohenstein- Ernstthal site of Roth & Rau AG (R8R), the German competitor it acquired last year. The company will also cut 200 positions worldwide and consolidate offices and subsidiary companies, spokeswoman Ingrid Carstensen said by phone.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Pauli is seeking to make deeper cuts as customers face overcapacity for solar panels following a Chinese government spending initiative which flooded the market with cheap equipment. Pauli said in an interview Nov. 2 that the firm was evaluating more “fat-trimming” measures.

The stock fell as much as 4.2 percent and traded 3.9 percent lower at 9:55 a.m. in Zurich. The firm has a market capitalization of 306 million francs, less than half of what it was at the start of this year.

Meyer Burger said the job cuts will allow the firm to reduce costs by about 30 million francs.

The company has cut 519 positions this year, more than it announced in March, when it said it would cut staff by 15 percent. It aims to eventually have 2,000 full-time employees, down from 2,791 at the end of 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Winters in Zurich at pwinters3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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