Sat, Apr 03, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Green Energy posts income drop of 93 percent from 2008

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The nation’s biggest solar panel maker, Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能科技), yesterday posted an audited net income for last year that was 93 percent lower than the previous year as prices plummeted because of oversupply after economic woes retrenched demand.

Last year, Green Energy earned NT$115 million (US$3.62 million), or NT$0.82 per share, down from NT$1.47 billion, or NT$12.05 per share in 2008, a company statement read. Gross margin plunged to 3.8 percent from 23.8 percent over the same period.

However, Green Energy sees more positive signs for this year. It is set to unveil expansion plans to increase capacity later this year to satisfy customer demand, the statement read.

The chipmaker’s plants were “fully utilized for three consecutive quarters,” the company said in the statement.

To match the uptrend, Green Energy said it plans to boost ingot growing capacity by nearly 40 percent to 500 megawatts this quarter, up from 360 megawatts at the end of last year.

To support the company’s expansion, the board approved plans to raise funds by selling corporate bonds or 17.97 million new shares in the form of global depositary receipts, overseas or at home.

The plan will be discussed during the annual general shareholder’s meeting scheduled for June 4.

Earlier this year, company president Lin Hur-lon (林和龍) said the chipmaker had been in discussions over whether to raise prices by 3 percent in February. This was in response to a rebound in demand after governments in Europe, Asia and Australia appeared to be resuming or increasing subsidies for solar panel installation after the worst of the economic crisis appeared to be over.

Market researcher Solarbuzz forecasts that the global solar industry is expected to resume high-speed growth over the next five-year period to at least US$100 billion in 2014.

Demand in the second half of last year proved to be robust, setting the stage for 38 percent growth this year, Solarbuzz said in a report released in December.

Last year, revenues in the global solar industry fell by 25 percent year-on-year to US$38 billion, according to Solarbuzz’s statistics.

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