Despite this, the group’s net income attributable to shareholders rose 27.4% year on year to JPY 90,267 million for the nine months to the end of December 2017.
It primarily attributed its strong performance to revenue generated by its non-solar businesses, such as information and telecoms equipment, and industrial machinery. Total group sales for the first nine months of the current fiscal year jumped 12.9% on the year, to JPY 1,145,016 million, according to an online statement.
The Kyoto-based company’s Equipment & Systems Business revealed little about its solar operations, beyond broadly acknowledging that sales of PV equipment in its home market continued to fall throughout the reporting period. The division’s operating profit fell to JPY 7.5 billion in the third quarter, down from JPY 12.8 billion in the preceding three-month period.
The group also said that it had started consolidating PV production across several sites in Japan and China. In the third quarter, it began reassessing the production of PV cells at a plant it operates in Japan’s Shiga prefecture, as well as solar cell and module manufacturing at another facility in the same prefecture.
At some point in the second half of the next fiscal year, Kyocera aims to consolidate all production from those two sites at its Shiga Yasu Plant, and at another facility in Tianjin, China.
The restructuring effort follows moves announced earlier in 2017 to gradually scale back output at a factory in nearby Mie prefecture, before shifting production to its facilities in Shiga prefecture.
At the time, a Kyocera spokesperson described the changes as “structural reforms” and insisted that the group was not downsizing its solar business. The representative added that the group still aimed to make roughly 1 GW of PV modules in the fiscal year to the end of March 2018.
Talking to pv magazine recently, the company provided an update on both its manufacturing; and shifting solar focus in light of decreasing FITs. Increasingly, the installation of small- to mid-scale systems for self-consumption will become a key focus, said Ichiro Ikeda, general manager of Kyocera’s Solar Energy Marketing Division.
Kyocera remains active in utility scale PV project development, however. In January of this year, it finished building a 21.1 MW solar array in Hagi, a small city in western Japan’s Yamaguchi prefecture. It further confirmed in late January that it is still moving forward on a massive 480 MW solar project on Ukujima, an island in the remote Goto archipelago, off the coast of Nagasaki prefecture.