November 21, 2012 / 6:56 AM / 5 years ago

Meyer Burger warns of 2012 operating loss

* Meyer Burger cuts FY sales target

* Expects to post loss at EBITDA level of 20-40 mln Sfr

* Plans further job cuts to reduce operating costs

ZURICH, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Swiss solar equipment maker Meyer Burger cut its full-year sales target on Wednesday and said it now expected an operating loss in 2012, blaming the sector’s challenging conditions.

The maker of production equipment for solar cells now expects to achieve sales slightly over 600 million francs, down from the guidance of sales between 600 and 800 million francs it gave at its half-year results in August.

Due to lower sales and ongoing restructuring costs it is forecasting an operating loss of approximately 20 to 40 million francs in the fiscal year 2012.

Solar companies in Europe and the United States have grappled with a toxic mix of overcapacity, falling prices, low-cost Asian competition and lower government subsidies on which the industry depends.

Earlier this month German solar group SolarWorld warned a massive decline in prices for solar modules would lead to a wide operating loss this year.

Meyer Burger, which has already shed 19 percent of its workforce, said it would make further cuts to reduce operating costs by approximately 30 million francs as the difficult market conditions drag on.

It plans to cut 50 staff at its German subsidiary Roth and Rau and said capacity adjustment measures could lead to a further 200 job cuts at other locations worldwide. (Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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