Comtec to focus on downstream and 156mm x 156mm “Super Mono” wafer business

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The Shanghai-based group — which produces solar PV wafers and ingots — achieved revenues of 489.2 million CNY (US$77.9 million) in the 2017 fiscal year, down 39.6% from 810 million CNY a year earlier.

The turnover decline, Comtec said, was mainly due to lower polysilicon sales and decreasing polysilicon average selling prices (ASPs).

While revenue for its 156 x 156 mm monocrystalline wafers increased 125.5% to 206.6 million CNY, sales for its 125 x 125 mm monocrystalline solar wafers, dropped 80% to 42.9 million CNY. For the first category, total shipments reached 211.0 MW in 2017, while the second category achieved shipments of 67.4 MW.

Overall, market demand last year was mainly driven by larger-size monocrystalline silicon wafers, Comtec said in a statement released.

The remaining revenues come from sales of excess inventory of polysilicon (65.3 million CNY), downstream project development services (47.2 million CNY), sales of ingots, and trading revenue from sales of solar cells and modules, Comtec continued.

Meanwhile, the company was able to considerably reduce its net loss from 1,007.1 million CNY in 2016, to 145.4 million CNY in the last fiscal year. Net loss margin also improved significantly year-on-year, from 124.3% to 29.7%.

Gross profit improvement, it said, was mainly attributable to the “profitable downstream project development businesses which commenced during the year,” as well as to the aforementioned write-down of inventory.

Comtec stressed that the business environment for traditional monocrystalline silicon wafers has further deteriorated in the second half of last year, and that in the future, it will focus purely on the manufacture of 156mm x 156mm “Super Mono” wafers, with annual shipments not expected to exceed 500 MW.