Comtec sees strong demand for monocrystalline, despite huge net loss

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China solar manufacturer, Comtec, which focuses on the production of "super mono wafers," has seen its 1H 2015 net loss slide significantly, down from a net profit of RMB 3 million last year, to a loss of RMB 204 million.

As reported in a profit warning notice yesterday, Comtec said the loss was primarily due to impairment losses on advance to suppliers and prepaid assignment fees of around RMB123 million and non-cash share-based payment expenses of roughly RMB38.6 million.

At RMB 14 million, gross profit also sharply tumbled from the RMB 43.5 million seen in 1H 2014, while gross margin fell from 2.5%, down from 8.3%. Revenues, meanwhile, slightly rose to RMB 556 million, up from RMB 520.4 million.

Despite the bad news, Comtec saw its wafer shipments increase by 4%, from 190.1 MW to 197.7 MW. Like Longi Silicon, chairman John Zhang, stated that monocrystalline products are "playing [an] increasingly important role in the market." Zhang believes product specifications and cost competitiveness of Comtec’s "super mono wafers," a main focus for the company, are expected to improve in the coming years.

As such, Comtec is confident of its future, and is planning to increase production at its Malaysian facility. It says it is currently looking for "various opportunities for purchasing low-cost equipments [sic] for our expansion which can maximize our advantages from the industry consolidation process."

Last year, the company said it would ramp up production from 300 MW to 600 MW. It declined to divulge any updated information in its latest earnings report, and it is not clear if the company plans to go beyond the 600 MW, or if it is referring to the expansion plans detailed in 2014, however. pv magazine has contacted Comtec for further details.

"The international business environment for PRC-based Solar manufacturing companies became more challenging," said Zhang, adding, "Our strategy to build production facilities in Malaysia enabled us to mitigate risks and costs in relation to such conflicts and any changes in trade policies. We are now one of the few PRC-based solar companies with sizable overseas Production facilities."