Ongoing overcapacity and capital spending constraints within the PV industry continued to impact revenue at BTU International. The equipment supplier reported fourth quarter net sales of US$14.9 million, down 11.8% compared to US$16.9 million in the prior quarter. Net loss for the fourth quarter was US$2.3 million. BTU also posted net sales for 2011 of US$76.1 million, down 6.7% compared to US$81.6 million for the year 2010. Net loss for 2011 was US$2.7 million.
“Based upon key customer inputs, the 2011 year started out with high expectations for continuing strong expansion of the solar cell manufacturers,” noted Paul J. van der Wansem, BTU chairman and CEO. “During the second quarter, the first signals appeared that customers were delaying capacity expansions. It soon became clear that the solar industry started to cope with a large overcapacity. For BTU it meant that we had to significantly change our plans with a shift in business mix from alternative energy to electronics.”
BTU guided first quarter revenue in the range of US$15-US$16 million. The company continues to concentrate on R&D and product launches in time for the next wave of capital spending in the PV sector.