Sharp sees Japan domestic PV dip

Sharp’s energy solutions division reported sales of ¥69bn ($670.3m) in the three months to 30 June, down 18.1% from the same period last year, mainly due to a "significant" decline in sales of its PV modules in Japan’s residential solar market.

The energy solutions unit’s operating income plunged 97.3% on the year to roughly ¥1m. However, its PV shipments for the first quarter of the Japanese fiscal year rose to 380MW, from 343MW a year earlier, due to strong orders for utility-scale solar projects.

Sharp is now forecasting that its energy division will record full-year sales of ¥290bn, down 33.9% from its original forecast.

The company’s group net sales, meanwhile, rose 1.9% on the year to ¥619.7bn. Its group operating income rose 55% to ¥4.6bn.

The Osaka-based company shipped more solar panels than any other PV module supplier in the first three months of 2014, on shipments of nearly 750MW, according to NPD Solarbuzz.

However, it has aggressively restructured its global solar business over the past year, as part of efforts to reposition itself to capitalise on booming PV demand in Asia.

It is also trying to expand its EPC business to become an “energy solutions provider,” rather than solely producing PV modules and storage batteries.

It said it will book a one-off loss of ¥14.3bn yen due to the restructuring push.

In July, it said it will end its joint project development and production ventures with Italy’s Enel Green Power (EGP).

Last December, it announced plans to end PV module production at its 400MW factory in North Wales, UK.