SolarWorld CEO sees solar module prices sliding
FRANKFURT Dec 29 (Reuters) - Solar companies face a sharp drop in solar module prices in the years ahead as global capacity rises and governments phase out subsidies, said Frank Asbeck, chief executive of SolarWorld (SWVG.DE).
"In 2009 and 2010 the price of solar modules will decline by more than 10 percent," Asbeck told the German daily newspaper Handelsblatt in an interview to be published on Tuesday.
The price slump would have a negative impact of about two percentage points on SolarWorld's operating profit margin, Asbeck said. In the first nine months of this year, the company's EBIT margin stood at 32 percent.
To boost profitability in the future, SolarWorld would double its spending on research and development to 40 million euros ($57.34 million) in 2009, he said.
Nonetheless, he still saw sales growing 25-30 percent in 2009 from this year, he said. In 2007, SolarWorld posted sales of 690 million euros. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)
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