PV surge boost Kyocera profits

Kyocera’s group net income rose 54.2% to ¥69.4bn ($675m) year-on-year in the nine months to the end of December, partly due to strong utility-scale demand for its PV modules in Japan.

Third-quarter net sales in the Kyoto-based conglomerate’s applied ceramics division – which makes PV cells and modules, among other items – soared roughly ¥17bn from the preceding three-month period to ¥ 68.3bn.

Its operating profit jumped about ¥3.4bn on the quarter to approximately ¥8bn, mainly due to strong solar demand in its home market.

Kyocera raised its full-year, group net sales forecast by 11.7% on the year to ¥1.4trn, as growing demand for solar panels in Japan will likely offset its sagging smartphone and digital-camera business. It ramped up its net-sales forecast for its applied ceramics division by 28.2% to ¥2.6bn.

In November, Kyocera and a group of companies started running a 70MW PV plant in Kagoshima prefecture, southern Japan, which it said is the nation’s biggest yet.