Comtec Solar takes wafer revenue hit from SunPower

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Monocrystalline wafer producer Comtec Solar Systems Group reported a 20% revenue drop from the sale of 125mm x 125mm monocrystalline solar wafers, primarily to its largest customer, SunPower in 2014. 

Comtec Solar reported a revenue decline for the smaller wafer size of RMB127.5 million (US$20.57 million) in 2014, down 20.4% from US$100.6 million in 2013 to US$80.1 million in 2014. 

SunPower accounted for 48.7% of total revenues in 2014, compared to approximately 62.6% in 2013.

The company said that the wafer sales decline was primarily due to a decrease in average unit price for the product by 7.5% as well as a volume unit decline of 14% in 2014. Unit volume sales of the small-scale wafer declined to 289.5MW, compared to 336.6MW in 2013. 

However, Comtec Solar said that the volume decline was also attributed to a change in wafer production capacity allocation to the larger 156mm x 156mm ‘Super Mono Wafers’ to new customers, which include Mission Solar Energy. 

Comtec Solar started a long term sales agreement with US-based Mission Solar in 2014, which includes supplying its Super Mono Wafers from 2014 to 2017 totalling around 500MW or wafers. 

Revenue from sales of 156 mm x 15s mm monocrystalline solar wafers increased by RMB74.2 million in 2014, a 579.7% increase of the previous year. Unit volume sales were 51.8MW, compared to 6.5MW in 2013. The majority of sales of the larger wafer size were due to the sales of its Super Mono Wafers.

Comtec Solar reported total wafer shipments of approximately 372.7MW, a 6.1% decline from from 396.9MW in 2013. 

Revenue for the year was approximately RMB906.6 million, representing a year-on-year decrease of 3.3%. 

The company reported gross profit of RMB60.0 million, a 20% decline from 2013. 
Gross profit margin for the year was approximately 6.6%, compared to 8.0% in 2013, while the company reported a net loss of RMB133.1 million.

Malaysian wafer plant ramp 

Comtec Solar said that it was also in the process of ramping production of approximately 300MW in Malaysia which would lead to lower production costs and expand its scale of operations, which is expected to complete the ramp up during the first half of 2015.

The anti-dumping duties in the US are a prime driver for the capacity ramp, according to the company. 

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