SMA Solar Technology AG, the world’s biggest maker of inverters, said it will eliminate 700 full-time jobs in Germany by the end of 2014 as the photovoltaic market it supplies shrinks.
SMA Solar has begun talks with its works council to ensure the cutbacks are handled “in the most socially responsible way,” the Niestetal, Germany-based manufacturer said in a statement today. The stock rose 1.1 percent to 20.22 euros as of 4:35 p.m. in Frankfurt, reversing a decline of as much as 2.8 percent earlier today.
The company, whose inverters are used to convert energy from solar panels into power that can be transmitted on a grid, has seen sales plunge almost 50 percent since 2010 as speculation over possible anti-dumping fees for Chinese solar products in Europe weighed on orders. By the end of 2014, the number of full-time positions in its home market will be reduced to 3,000, SMA Solar said.
“For the first time in many years, measured in euros, the global photovoltaic market will decline in 2013,” Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Pascal Urbon said in the statement. “As market leader, we will be especially affected by this,” he said, forecasting “an extended period of consolidation in the solar sector.”