Solar wafer maker narrows Q1 losses

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Sat, May 11, 2013 - Page 14

Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能科技), the nation’s biggest solar wafer maker, yesterday said quarterly losses narrowed to NT$672 million (US$22.55 million) in the first three months of this year, supported by stabilizing prices and cost reduction.

Green Energy made a loss of NT$1.04 billion in the fourth quarter of last year and loss of NT$854 million in the first quarter of last year, according to the company’s financial statement.

Gross margin improved to minus-19 percent last quarter, from minus-35 percent in the prior quarter and minus-25 percent a year ago, the statement said.

“With effective cost reductions and stable averse selling prices of high-level wafers, Green Energy’s gross margin improved 10 percentage points,” it said.

Green Energy said it aimed to expand its market share and to return to profit this year, and it hoped to benefit from the solar industry’s recent signs of turnaround.

Wafer shipments grew 20 percent in the first quarter with factory utilization reaching 95 percent, the company said.

Separately, Green Energy yesterday posted 7.4 percent growth in revenue to NT$1.01 billion last month, compared with NT$944 million the previous month. The figure was the highest level in 15 months since November 2011.

“Factory utilization rose to more than 95 percent last month because of customers’ strong demand for high-end wafers,” Green Energy said in a statement. “Both shipments and revenues rose last month.”

An upturn in the solar industry was also reflected by the shrinking losses of the nation’s major solar companies.

Local solar cell maker Motech Industries Inc (茂迪科技) posted a quarterly loss of NT$552 million for the first quarter, compared with a loss of NT$1.1 billion in the same period last year.

Rival Neo Solar Power Corp (新日光能源) said its losses narrowed to NT$600 million last quarter from loss of NT$1.82 billion a year ago.

However, Gintech Energy Corp (昱晶) widened its losses to NT$493 million for the quarter ending on March 31, from a loss of NT$208 million in the same period last year.