Sat, Oct 29, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Green Energy says red ink will mar full-year forecast

GROWING LOSSES:The company said the European debt crisis and concerns about market demand have hurt the solar industry, but it plans to cut costs and wafer prices

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能科技), the nation’s biggest solar wafer maker, yesterday slashed its full-year earnings forecast again — to a NT$2.04 billion (US$68.3 million) loss — after reporting bigger quarterly losses for last quarter.

In August, the Taoyuan-based firm said it would swing into losses of NT$610 million for the whole year, reversing net profits of NT$3.55 billion it estimated in January.

“As the credit crunch [in the solar industry] continues amid the European debt crisis, concern over market demand climbs, and that freezes demand and cuts prices of all solar products,” Green Energy said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

THIRD QUARTER

During the three-month period ending last month, Green Energy’s net losses widened to NT$990 million compared with losses of NT$294 million in the second quarter, joining local solar companies such as solar cell maker Motech Industries Inc (茂迪) in reporting deeper losses on overcapacity.

Green Energy made net profits of NT$173 million a year ago, it said in a statement.

It expects losses to increase to NT$1.56 billion this quarter because it plans to sell wafers below cost to reduce inventory and generate enough cash to ride out the slump, the company said in a statement.

GROSS MARGINS

Gross margin dipped to minus 17.9 percent in the third quarter from minus 3.1 percent in the second quarter, compared with 14.3 percent in the third quarter of last year.

Green Energy said it aims to cut costs by 15 percent to 20 percent by allocating production to more cost-efficient plants. It also expects solar wafer supply to gradually match demand because some companies have been forced out of the market due to the drastic price decline, which has led to a 40 percent reduction in global solar wafer capacity.

STOCK MARKET

Green Energy shares fell 0.62 percent to NT$32.3 yesterday, hitting the lowest level since their debut in January 2008.

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