Japanese electronics manufacturer Kyocera saw sales in its solar business segment decline in fiscal year 2018, which ended on March 31, 2019, thus confirming a trend registered in the previous year.
According to final results, the group’s Life & Environment segment, which comprises all of its solar business, saw its revenue decline by 28.6% from JPY 112,212 million in fiscal 2017 to 80,114 million JPY ($715.8 million) in the latest fiscal year. This revenue drop, the company said, was primarily due a decline in sales in the solar energy business, without providing specific figures on it.
The company added that the division’s business loss for fiscal 2019 expanded by JPY 11,524 million to JPY 67,016 million, as a result of lower PV sales, as well as the recording of a write-down relating to long-term purchase agreements for the procurement of polysilicon. This loss, according to Kyocera, has more than offset the effect of cost reduction efforts it implemented in its solar energy business, including the consolidation of its production sites.
Overall, the group recorded a turnover of JPY 1,623,710 million in fiscal 2019, up 3% from JPY 1,577,039 million a year earlier.
Looking forward, the Japanese group said it aims at increasing its gains in fiscal 2020 by improving the profitability of the solar business, which has “undergone structural reform through fiscal 2018”. The company, however, expects sales of the Life & Environment segment to improve by only 17.7% to 94,300 million JPY in the current fiscal year.
In fiscal 2018, the company implemented a plan to restructure its solar manufacturing activities to focus on facilities in the Shiga prefecture of Japan, and in Tianjin, China. 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.