LG solar business affected by panel price falls as Kyocera reports poor results for PV sales

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LG Electronics may have registered a considerable year-on-year rise in profits and turnover in the last fiscal year, but the company’s solar business – part of its Business-to-Business division – was hit by the effects of import tariffs and continuing panel price falls, which offset cost improvements.

The South Korean multinational’s overall earnings were up 10% to KRW2.7 trillion ($2.4 billion) for a record turnover of KRW61.3 trillion.

In the fourth quarter, however, the Business-to-Business division saw revenue decrease 11%, year-on-year, to KRW597.8 billion. “Despite this, LG plans to increase profitability in the business unit by diversifying target markets for its solar business, maximizing the operation of its U.S. solar factory and targeting new growth areas for its information display business,” said the company in a financial update.

Meanwhile, Kyocera has reported the unit containing its PV business – the Life & Environment Group – saw revenues fall 26.6%, to ¥58.5 billion ($537.9 million) in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2019, which runs until March 31. That meant a ¥63.9 billion loss for the unit, with the company specifying the turnover fall was mainly attributable to lower sales in the solar business.

Overall the group’s profits decreased, Kyocera added, due to the recording of settlement expenses of ¥52.3 billion relating to long-term purchase agreements for the procurement of polysilicon for the solar energy business.

Those failings forced Kyocera to revise down the full year turnover forecast for its solar unit, to ¥69 billion from ¥84 billion.

The company is in the process of restructuring its solar manufacturing activities to focus on facilities in the Shiga prefecture of Japan, and in Tianjin, China.