Sharp soars on solar strength

Sharp’s solar module sales soared 85.8% on the year in the first nine months of fiscal 2013 to ¥276.8bn ($2.7bn), primarily due to strong demand in Japan’s residential and utility-scale PV segments.

It shipped 459MW of PV panels in the third quarter, down from 560MW in the preceding three-month period.

The Osaka-based electronics giant’s group net sales rose 21% year-on-year to ¥21.3bn, up 21% on the year.

Despite the strong performance of its solar business, its Product Business division, which makes PV modules, booked a ¥27.7bn impairment loss due to its ongoing restructuring efforts.

Sharp has significantly scaled back its overseas PV manufacturing operations in recent months. In January, it revealed plans to halt solar production at its factory in Memphis, Tennessee. And in December, it said it would stop making solar panels at its 400MW plant in North Wales, UK.

However, the company has raised its full-year PV module shipment forecast from 1.8GW to 2.1GW, and expects to move 738MW in the fourth quarter alone. It is forecasting full-year solar sales of ¥430bn, from an earlier estimate of ¥310bn.