Japan helps Solar Frontier into profit

Solar Frontier's Kunitomi plant

Solar Frontier's Kunitomi plant

Japanese thin-film module maker Solar Frontier says strong demand in its home market helped it generate its first quarterly profit since the business started two years ago.

Solar Frontier parent firm Showa Shell Sekiyu says its Energy Solutions unit, dominated by module sales, generated an operating income of 197m yen ($2.1m) in the quarter from October to December 2012.

Revenues in the three months were 31bn yen.

The fourth-quarter profit compares to an operating loss of 3.5bn yen in the third quarter and 9.2bn yen in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Like many of its peers, Solar Frontier’s profits were buoyed by a surge in demand for PV plants, with developers keen to sign-off on new projects before Japan’s generous feed-in tariff is reduced in April.

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