Motech posts record $220.5m net loss in 2018

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The Taiwanese cell manufacturer attributed its poor performance to an asset impairment charge and other expenses. In the 12 months to the end of December, it recorded consolidated net revenue of approximately $460.5 million, down 38.8% year on year.

The Tainan-based company reported a net loss of about $76.8 million in the three months to the end of December. It primarily attributed the quarterly decline to a one-time asset impairment charge of roughly $58.4 million and workforce allocation expenses of $7.1 million. However, it insisted that this would not have an impact on its working capital.

“We have stabilized and reset the core business into (the) solar system market in Taiwan with our high-efficiency Mono PERC solar cell capacities of 250MW and modules of 200MW,” it said in a statement on its website.

In January of this year, the company recorded monthly revenue of approximately $14.2 million, down 77.08% year on year. Last November, it revealed plans to lay off 916 employees, effective from the end of January 2019. It said it was forced to make the “difficult and painful decision” — which followed the dismissal of 300 foreign production workers in September — in response to “severe volatility” in the PV industry, pointing to policy uncertainty in China. As of last year, it had a cell production capacity of 3.6 GW, 1.7 GW of that in China.

The company has since vowed to continue to produce high-efficiency products, while intensifying its focus on its home market. However, Motech sold a factory in Tainan last October for roughly $31.7 million to Wistron NeWeb, a Taiwanese producer of wireless communication products.

The Taiwanese government is targeting 20 GW of cumulative solar installations by 2025. It added 470 MW to the grid in the first half of 2018 alone, according to EnergyTrend.