Hanwha SolarOne lowers full-year shipment guidance

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Tier 1 PV module manufacturer Hanwha SolarOne has lowered full-year shipment guidance to between 825-850MW, down from previous guidance of between 900-1,000MW, which was a revision from Q1 2012.

The company reported Q3 2012 revenue down 9.9% to US$153.7 million, while being down 32.8% from the same quarter a year ago.

Module shipments, which included module processing services, reached 239.5MW, up 3.8% from 230.7MW in the previous quarter, and an increase of 19.2% from the same quarter a year ago. The company had previously guided Q3 shipments would be flat with the previous quarter.

Hanwha SolarOne noted that module ASP declines in the quarter were higher than production cost reductions which impacted gross margins and losses. Cost reductions had outpaced ASP declines in Q2 2012. Gross margin was negative 5.8%, compared with 6.3% in the previous quarter and negative 9.4% in Q1 2012.

Module ASPs were US$0.67 in Q3 2012, down from US$0.77 in the prior quarter.

On a geographical basis the company shipped modules to over 24 countries during Q3 2012. Germany remained its largest market, accounting for 39% of shipments in the quarter, compared with 57% in the previous quarter.

Europe and Africa combined accounted for 63% of total shipments, compared with 76% of total shipments in prior quarter.

Italy, Belgium and Holland, represented 6%, 5% and 5% of total shipments respectively.

However, the biggest increase in shipments was seen in the Asia Pacific region, compared with the previous quarter, notably attributable to shipments in China.

Asia Pacific accounted for 22% of total shipments, up from 17% in the prior quarter. China, Korea, Japan and India represented 11%, 6%, 3% and 2% of total shipments in Q3 2012, respectively.

China had only accounted for 2% of total shipments reported in Q2 2012.

Shipments to North America also increased q-on-q to account for 13% of shipments in Q3, compared to 7% in Q2 2012.

Ki-Joon Hong, Chairman and CEO of Hanwha SolarOne said: “In spite of a difficult operating environment, we achieved some good progress in shipment and production costs during the third quarter even though we suffered from continued ASP decline. Our shipment volumes grew nicely quarter-to-quarter, our production costs continued to decline and now are reaching our year-end target, and we are increasingly seeing synergies with our parent company, particularly in downstream activities.”

The company reiterated that it expected non-silicon production costs to be approximately US$0.50/W by the end of 2012.

The company did not provide guidance in its Q3 financial statement for the final quarter of 2012, however based on full-year shipment guidance, Hanwha SolarOne expects module shipments to be in the range of 194-219MW.

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