BYD posts $260 million H1 profit as solar sales sag

Group revenue edged up slightly from the preceding year to CNY43.8 billion in the January-June period. However, the company — which produces electric vehicles, PV modules, smartphones and energy storage solutions — reported that its solar business generated revenue of just CNY 3.4 billion in the January-June period, down from CNY 4.06 billion a year earlier.

It attributed the PV unit’s poor performance to “intense market competition” and falling product prices. “After the installation boom in the first half of 2017, it is expected that the photovoltaic industry will face oversupply in the second half of the year, thus leading to more intense competition,” the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

However, BYD’s solar panel and battery unit accounted for just 7.81% of the group’s total revenue. Its automotive business accounted for roughly 51% of revenue at CNY 22,433 million, down 4.1% year on year. Its mobile phone unit, meanwhile, accounted for 41% of revenue, at CNY 17,963 million, up 10.3% from the first half of 2016.

“The group has also been actively expanding into the business fields of energy storage stations and solar,” the Shenzhen-based manufacturer said.

BYD said that it expects to record a year-on-year profit decline of roughly 20% to 25% in the nine months to the end of September, partly due to difficulties with its electric-vehicle business. Last week, the company — which  recorded a net profit of CNY 5.04 billion in 2016, up 79% year on year — signed a deal to supply 180 MW of solar panels to Spanish developer Cobra for a PV project in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo.