The restructuring of the Schletter Group, manufacturer of photovoltaic mounting systems, has begun. Schletter CEO Tom Graf informed the staff at the headquarters in Kirchdorf on the measures necessary: Downsizing.Due to the ongoing deficits outside the core business solar workforce in Germany must be reduced by about half. However, production in Kirchdorf remains.
“I regret the impending job cuts extraordinarily,” Graf said. “However, it is inevitable to lead the group as a whole out of the red and to secure their long-term existence.” In the years 2013 to 2015, the Schletter Group has amassed tens of millions of losses on sales of almost EUR 300 million in Germany. The liquidity reserves were depleted.
Therefore Graf and his colleague have Renzow (CFO) agreed last week with the principal banks a comprehensive concept for the future. The core strategy is to continue the international growth strategy of the group. While the solar market in Germany is weakening for years, photovoltaics remains internationally an important future market with excellent growth prospects. Here the Schletter Group is excellently positioned with its international production and sales network. The agreement includes a funding package that ensures the financing of the company, including the forthcoming restructuring for years to come. Graf and Renzow want to lead the group through 2018 back into the profit zone.
Crux of the reorganization at Schletter is focusing on photovoltaic and the consolidation of the business in Germany. While generated Schletter in the Solar slight surplus. Nevertheless, there is excess capacity, which must be reduced to ensure that the group is internationally competitive. The deficit-ridden metal products (LMB) sub-class will be discontinued at the end, also the internal processes will be streamlined and reduced vertical integration. Some 300 jobs will probably have to be phased out by early next year. Currently, the Schletter Group employs approximately 1,300 people worldwide.
Graf and Renzow have already started negotiations with the Schletter council to negotiate the modalities of job losses. Graf and Renzow want make the job cuts as socially acceptable as possible; the necessary for a social plan funds were part of the agreement with the banks.