Hanwha SolarOne posts $75 million third-quarter net loss

Chinese solar giant Hanwha SolarOne Co., Ltd. on Tuesday posted third-quarter net revenue of CNY 1.1 billion (US$185.5 million), a 4% dip from the previous quarter and a 17.5% increase year on year.

The Shanghai-based PV manufacturer saw a net loss of CNY 460 million ($75.2 million), a 43% increase from a year ago and nearly three times its loss in the second quarter of 2013.

The company attributed the decrease in total net revenues between July and September compared with the previous quarter to lower shipments.

PV module shipments, including module processing services, reached 317.8 MW, near the high end of Hanwha SolarOne’s 300-325 MW forecasted range, and slight decrease from 321.2 MW in the second quarter yet comparatively higher than the 239.5 MW achieved in the third quarter of 2012.

Hanwha SolarOne Chairmand and CEO Ki-Joon Hong said the company’s results were in line with earlier estimates.

"Our third quarter results came in largely as expected, with shipment volumes falling at the high end of our forecasted range, average selling prices continuing to improve and gross margins remaining stable before a one-time provision for European Union tariffs. Our presence in three of the world’s most important markets improved, with China, Japan and North America all accounting for larger percentages of our shipment volumes."

Japan, Hanwha SolarOne’s largest destination for modules, saw an increase in module shipments to 46% in the third quarter. Shipments to China and North America continued to increase, with the former representing 11% of total shipments, while the U.S. and Canada accounting for 12% and 5%, respectively.

The company said increased business in China and North America replaced shipments to South Africa (10%), where it completed a 155 MW contract. The South Korean market remained solid, making up 4% of total module shipments in the third quarter; Germany saw similar shipment volumes.

"The decline in Germany this quarter is a direct result of the new tariff structure in the EU," the company said.

Hanwha SolarOne continued to diversify its geographic spread, shipping modules to 30 countries during the third quarter. Shipments to Europe and Africa made up 21% of total module shipments, with Asia Pacific accounting for 62% and North America 17%.

Hong added that the company’s outlook for the final quarter of the year was good, predicting shipment volumes would increase in a range of 13-19% quarter-to-quarter with average selling prices remaining stable or increasing along with improved gross margins. The group also made significant progress in improving its internal ingot and wafer utilization and manufacturing efficiencies, he added.

The chief executive said the group was seeing momentum in its penetration of the Chinese market and was approaching the roll out of its downstream business, including the evaluation of a number of strategic partnerships.

Hong added that North America was showing positive signs, including a 40 MW project in Canada, and said Hanwha SolarOne’s next-generation E Star II cell would begin commercial production in the latter part of the year.