Kyocera sees sales, profit rise in first half of fiscal year

Japanese electronics and ceramics giant Kyocera on Wednesday posted a 2.1% increase in half-year revenue to JPY 714.3 billion ($6.5 billion) while net profit climbed 1.7% to JPY 43.6 billion ($400 million).

The Kyoto-based conglomerate attributed the revenue hike in the first six months of its current fiscal year through September to increased sales in its Semiconductor Parts Group and the Information Equipment Group. Kyocera also saw demand grow in its principle digital consumer equipment market, particularly for smart phones and in the automotive segment around the globe.

However, Kyocera said first-half profit fell as a result of decreased earnings at its Applied Ceramic Products Group, which reflected a decline in product selling prices, particularly in the solar energy segment.

The Applied Ceramic Products Group saw overall sales drop compared with the previous first half. The company said the division was hit by an "absence of sales contributions from large-scale solar projects for the public and commercial sectors recorded in the previous first half." Applied Ceramic Products Group operating profit likewise fell compared with the previous first half due to a decline in solar module prices, the company added.

New consumption tax, subsidy cuts slow solar business

Kyocera noted that growth in the Japanese solar energy market "slowed considerably due mainly to the impact of the consumption tax rate increase and the end of government subsidies supporting solar power generation systems for residential use."

Japan remained the company’s largest overall market, accounting for 41.4% of overall sales in the first half of 2014, followed by the rest of Asia, which accounted for 19.9%, Europe (18.1%) and the United States (16.1%).