Digitimes Research: Sharp solar business continues to report declining revenues
Hana Hu, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Monday 20 February 2012]
Japan-based Sharp recently announced results for its fiscal third-quarter 2011 (October 1, 2011-December 31, 2011). Due to decreasing sales of LCD TVs in Japan, falling prices of solar products, and the appreciating Yen, the three major departments, Audio-Visual and Communication Equipment, LCDs, and Solar Cells all experienced falling revenues. Audio-Visual and Communication Equipment was the only department out of the three major departments to maintain profits while the other two experienced falling profits.
Sharp's solar business reported third-quarter 2011 revenues saw a 33.5% decrease on quarter due to price drops. Operating loss reached JPY6.2 billion (US$210 million), accumulated operating losses were JPY14.7 billion. Sharp aims to develop the solar business unit towards two directions: "local production for local consumption" and "creation of energy saving products". Sharp hopes to redefine the structure of the solar business unit.
Sharp has been developing the solar business for more than 50 years. Its sales of solar cells ranked number one in the world before 2007. In recent years, solar cell makers such as Germany-based Q-Cell, China-based Suntech and US-based First Solar have been taking the lead in solar cell sales. Sharp has been focusing on Europe, however, the firm produces solar cells in Japan causing its costs to be relatively high compared to others.
Solar firms have been investing in large-size power plants, but Sharp has not been involved in such projects. The firm has been acquiring downstream firms such as solar module makers.
Due to decreasing sales of LCD TVs in Japan, falling price of solar products and the appreciating Yen, Sharp reported third-quarter 2011 revenues of JPY589 billion, down 28.6% on year, while operating losses reached JPY24.4 billion.
Sharp solar cell business suffers increasing losses