AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 10, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) (Nasdaq:ENER), a leading global provider of thin-film flexible solar laminate products and systems to the building-integrated and commercial rooftop markets, today issued a statement regarding recent events in the European solar market, most notably changes to the solar incentive regime in France and Italy, two of the company's key markets.
"The dramatic and abrupt shift in the French and Italian solar incentive structures has impacted our business and forced us to reconsider our near-term financial outlook," said Mark Morelli, President and Chief Executive Officer of ECD. "Recent events have injected disruptive uncertainty into the markets which is causing financing sources to put projects on hold and may impact as much as 50% of this quarter's forecasted revenue. We expect better visibility on the timing of our projects after the announcement of the new Italian feed-in-tariff program and the French tender process. Nevertheless, for the quarter ending March 31, 2011, we are reducing production to 25 megawatts and are also aggressively pulling back on our cost structure. Thus our financial results will be affected due to restructuring and factory under-utilization charges."
Morelli continued, "Despite this near-term uncertainty, we expect that Europe will continue to support solar adoption, albeit with different priorities, such as new building energy regulations. These adjusted priorities will, in some circumstances, favor our products. For example, it seems that European regulators are tending to prefer smaller distributed-generation systems, like those found on rooftops, as well as building-integrated projects. UNI-SOLAR ® products are light weight, flexible, easy to install, low impact and integrate well with many different roofing materials.""At the same time, we will continue to diversify our go-to-market capabilities, including penetrating emerging markets like North America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and cultivating new channel partner and distributor relationships. For example, we are still seeing strength in our North American operations and expect increased momentum and sales in this region."