Showa Shell’s “Energy Solutions” unit – of which thin-filmgiant Solar Frontier forms the major part – remains but a small part of itsoverall business, with its oil-related activities still accounting for nearly95% of Showa Shell’s overall revenues of ¥2.95tr ($28.9bn) last year.

However, Energy Solutions is growing far more rapidly thanthe company’s legacy oil-refining business, with revenues surging 80.4% lastyear to ¥141.2bn, principally on strong sales at Solar Frontier.

Critically, the Energy Solutions unit reported a net income of¥17.5bn, compared to a net loss of ¥15.4bn