Astropower Streamlines, Reduces Workforce

AstroPower, which has recently weathered difficult financial times including delisting from the NASDAQ stock exchange, now initiated a reduction in its workforce by approximately 10% through a layoff of 45 employees.

Newark, Delaware – January 12, 2004 [] The company said the reduction is a direct result of the company’s continued efforts to control costs and improve manufacturing efficiency. AstroPower does continue to manufacture solar electric power products to meet the needs of its customers. Interim Chief Executive Officer Carl H. Young III and Interim Chief Financial Officer Eric I. Glassman have been assessing AstroPower’s operating expenses, revenues, and strategic direction since their organization, Bridge Associates, LLC, was engaged to stabilize the company’s financial position and manage operations in July. This reduction in force is part of an ongoing effort to bring AstroPower’s costs in line with its revenues and follows a similar measure in August 2003. The differentiating factor between the two reductions in force is the fact that this layoff encompasses manufacturing positions as well as salaried, professional positions. “This reduction in force is a necessary step in controlling AstroPower’s costs. Even more so, however, it is a natural result of the enhanced technologies, redeployed manufacturing assets, and improved processes implemented throughout module operations over the last six months,” Mr. Young said. “These measures have enabled AstroPower to greatly improve manufacturing efficiencies, streamline operations, and better compete within a highly competitive global marketplace.” In the last six months, AstroPower has also refined its module product line – now offering customers a core range of high-quality modules that generate solar electric power for a variety of applications. Automation implemented during this period is enabling AstroPower to produce these modules more efficiently and cost effectively, the company said. “Production capacity has not and will not be impacted by these job cuts,” Young said. “AstroPower continues to produce solar electric power products as it navigates through its restructuring. The company remains committed to serving its customers despite these challenges. Furthermore, this careful and staged reduction in AstroPower’s workforce, although unfortunate, was necessary to the restructuring and to avoid a need for more urgent measures later in the restructuring.” In related Astropower financial news, the company reported their auditors, KPMG LLP, have resigned their position with Astropower.
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