Japanese electronics and solar cell and module manufacturer, Kyocera saw its solar sales decline in fiscal year 2018, which ended on March 31, 2018.
For its Life & Environment segment, which comprises all of its solar activities, Kyocera reports that sales dropped by 24.8% from 149,207 million JPY (US$1.36 billion) in fiscal year 2017, to 112,212 million JPY in the latest fiscal year.
Although Kyocera has not provided specific figures for its solar business, it said that its sales declined last fiscal year, due to the downsizing of its solar energy business in the U.S. and lower sales in the key solar energy market of Japan. Furthermore, the company revealed that its PV business incurred an operating loss in fiscal 2018, as a consequence of the recording of a write-down relating to long-term purchase agreements for the procurement of polysilicon.
The total value of the write-down, Kyocera stressed, was around 50,165 million JPY. As a result, the Life & Environment segment registered an operating loss of 55,010 million JPY, while in the previous fiscal year, it had achieved an operating profit of 1,345 million JPY.
Overall, the group recorded a turnover of a 1,577,039 million JPY in fiscal 2018, up 10.8% from 1,422,754 million JPY a year earlier.
In the third quarter, Koycera 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.
The restructuring plan 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. The company is also active in the development of solar projects.