Thursday, 20 August 2009

Solar panel glut hits silicon chip maker

Reduced demand for solar panels has pushed down the profits of PV Crystalox Solar, the silicon wafer maker, after companies cut back on green spending.

By Rowena MasonPublished: 4:05PM BST 19 Aug 2009
The Oxfordshire company's revenue fell 4pc to €121.6m (£105m) in the six months to the end of June, as it reported that the number of new panels installed fell by 20pc to 30pc this year.
Its profits were 70pc lower at £22.2m following currency exchange losses of €13.7m and higher costs.
The company supplies silicon ingots and wafers to solar-panel makers in Europe and Japan.
But businesses are holding back on installing new green energy devices in the recession, which has led to an oversupply of components that is forcing down prices.
Costs rose after PV Crystalox opened a new €6.6m polysilicon manufacturing facility in Germany in an attempt to supply half of all its own silicon by 2011.
"Silicon was one of the key bottlenecks for the growth of the industry over previous years and that caused prices to more than double," said Iain Dorrity, the chief executive said. "It gives us independence in terms of the silicon pricing environment. Whichever way it develops we are well placed."
Wafer shipment volumes fell by 9pc over the first half and demand was lower than contracted with higher requests for deferrals from customers who had already placed orders.
Shareholders collect a 2 cent interim dividend on October 21.