Solar Frontier reports stable demand in H1 of fiscal 2017

The Japanese oil company Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. has reported that its subsidiary specializing in the CIS thin-film solar module production, Solar Frontier K.K., registered a stable demand for its residential and non-residential business during the first half of fiscal year 2017, which ended on Jun. 30, 2017.

The company stressed that, although global demand for solar modules has increased, it is now focusing on the Japanese market, as its overseas business is facing a slump in panel prices and severe competitive environment.

Showa Shell said that the manufacturing Solar Frontier’s SmaCIS panels — which come in a range of shapes and sizes for the Japanese rooftop market — began as planned at the 900 MW Miyazaki Plant in July. “There has been steady progress on spec-in by residential housing manufacturers, and order volume is growing,” the company said in its financial results.

The group also said that profits of its solar unit will still be impacted by lower panel prices, which are falling in Japan too, and that the situation of the PV division will continue to be tough during the transitional period until the new business strategy gets fully underway

The company’s Energy Solutions Business, which includes the activities of Solar Frontier, reported net sales of JPY 47.8 billion ($437.9 million), down 24.2% from JPY 63.0 billion in the first six months of the previous fiscal year, and an operating loss of JPY 4.2 billion ($38.4 million), down from JPY 3.4 billion in the first half of fiscal 2016.

The Japanese company’s parent Showa Shell reported a net profit of JPY 16,046 million for the January-June period, on consolidated net sales of JPY 947.4 billion, ($8.68 billion) up 11.3 % year on year.