Sat, May 04, 2019 - Page 12 News List

E-Ton temporarily closing Tainan factory

IN THE RED:As the solar cell market’s outlook is uncertain, the board also agreed to dispose of two idle factories, but the plan is subject to shareholders’ approval

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

E-Ton Solar Technology Co (益通光能) yesterday said that it is to temporarily shut down its only operational factory on Friday next week, putting more than 300 employees at risk of losing their jobs.

“To safeguard shareholders’ interests, the company is scheduled to stop production after clearing the remaining inventory,” E-Ton said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

This would help stem cash outflows, as the company has no long-term orders on hand, E-Ton said.

The firm is negotiating with employees about future job arrangements, it said.

E-Ton said it would consider resuming production at the plant in Tainan only when prices for solar cells and solar wafers rebound to profitable levels.

The company’s board of directors decided to stop making solar cell products due to persistent losses because of unresolved tariff barriers in major solar markets, such as the US, China, India and the EU, E-Ton said in a regulatory filing on Monday last week.

As the solar cell market’s outlook remains uncertain, the board agreed to dispose of two idle factories and other assets in Tainan to help improve the firm’s financial structure, it said in the filing.

The plan is subject to shareholders’ approval at an annual general meeting on June 21.

The company has been in the red since 2009.

E-Ton reported net losses of NT$1.1 billion (US$35.59 million) last year, less than the NT$2.8 billion in losses it reported in 2017, with losses per share improving to NT$3.43 from NT$8.76.

Last year’s revenue plunged to NT$1.79 billion, from NT$4.18 billion a year ealier.

E-Ton shares fell 0.37 percent to NT$2.71 yesterday. Since the beginning of this year, the stock has sunk 32.25 percent on the local main bourse.

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