Solar drags on Kyocera figures

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How long will it be before Kyocera‘s board loses patience with solar?

An update on the first half of the 2018-19 fiscal year issued by the Japanese electronics and ceramics giant, has painted a picture of a multinational conglomerate in blooming good health across all its divisions bar one – you’ve guessed it.

The headline statement for the period from the end of March to the end of September is of a second successive record first half for sales across the group, with M&A activity and sales in Kyocera’s components business and document solutions group leading the charge.

Solar – as part of the group’s Life and Environment Group – paints an entirely different story.

Profit warning from solar business

Although figures solely for the solar business are not stripped out of the division, the balance sheet is full of red ink.

Sales revenue for the six months fell JPY12 billion ($106 million) to JPY40.8 billion, by comparison with the first half of 2017-18, accounting for 5.1% of the overall sales figure, down from 7.1%.

The Life and Environment Group posted Kyocera’s only business loss for the second straight first half period, this time shedding JPY6.39 billion yen, quite a leap from the JPY592 million lost this time last year.

And there is little prospect of relief any time soon, according to the corporation, which stated: “In the solar energy business, sales are forecast to fall below Kyocera’s initial prediction.”

That translates into a profit warning that the division’s full year sales are now expected to be JPY27 billion lower than previously, at JPY84 billion, meaning the anticipated 12-month loss from the solar business is expected to widen by JPY14 billion to JPY17 billion.