Kyocera Q1 declines on PV weakness

Kyocera’s group net income fell to roughly ¥19.5bn ($189.3m) in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, from ¥22.7bn in the first three months of fiscal 2013, partly due to a slowdown in its solar business in Japan.

Sales in its applied ceramics unit – which produces PV modules, among other products – dropped to ¥53.8bn, from approximately ¥61.5bn a year earlier.

It partly attributed the decline to falling PV module prices. But it also said that its orders for utility-scale solar projects are expected to rise from the second quarter.

"The growth of the solar energy market in Japan slowed due mainly to the conclusion of government subsidies supporting residential-use solar power generation systems and the impact of the increase in the consumption tax rate," the Kyoto-based conglomerate said in an online statement.

"Sales in Japan decreased compared with the previous first quarter due primarily to a decline in sales from large-scale solar projects for the public and commercial sectors.”

Its operating profit fell to ¥18.8bn, from ¥25.4bn over the same period in 2013. However, its group net sales rose to ¥334.7bn in the three months to 30 June, 2014, from ¥331.6bn a year earlier.

Kyocera does not disclose specific solar sales figures or quarterly PV module shipment data.

Earlier this week, the company revealed that it had finished connecting 257MW of solar capacity to the grid in Thailand. The projects, built in cooperation with developer SPCG, include 35 utility-scale arrays in northeastern Thailand’s Surin province.

In June, Kyocera and German PV developer Photovolt Development Partners signed a basic agreement with three other companies to develop 430MW of PV on a remote island in Nagasaki prefecture, Japan.