Kyocera Applied Ceramics division hit by declining Japanese demand

Japanese PV module producer and project developer Kyocera has seen its solar operations decline in Q2 2016, returning sharply diminished profits. The company reported its consolidated financial results for the Q2 yesterday, in which revenues from its solar operations fell by more than 13% from the previous quarter.

Kyocera’s Applied Ceramic Products Group, of which its solar PV operations are a component, registered a JPY1.5 billion ($10 million) profit in Q2, down from JPY2.055 billion ($19.8 million) from Q1, or 57.4%.

"Sales and Operating profit in this reporting segment decreased compared with the previous first quarter due to a decline in sales in the solar energy business mainly as a result of a decline in demand in Japan," Kyocera reports.

Kyocera’s Applied Ceramics division accounted for 14.3% of the company’s total revenues in Q2, down from 15..5% the previous quarter. The solar business brought in 3.3% of Kyocera’s profits in the quarter, down from 6.8% the previous quarter.

Despite the weakening performance of its solar business, Kyocera remains hopeful for a turnaround before the close of 2016.

"Kyocera forecasts an increase in sales in the solar energy business in both the public and commercial sectors," the company stated in its Q2 consolidated results.

BNEF forecasts the Japanese PV market will install slightly over 10 GW of PV in 2016, down from 12.65 GW in 2015.

The appreciation of the yen against the euro and U.S. dollar featured prominently in Kyocera’s Q2 performance, resulting in declining sales across various business units to a range of markets.

Speaking to pv magazine earlier in the year, Japanese market analyst Izumi Kaizuka said that Kyocera remains one of the best positioned Japanese PV producers.

"Kyocera is now shifting its focus to the U.S. market," said Kaizuka. "I think Kyocera is a strong company in solar at the moment."