Maxeon 6 modules ramp-down results in higher restructuring costs in Q4 2023, says CEO

During the fourth quarter of 2023, Maxeon shipped 653MW of module capacity. Image: Maxeon Solar Technologies.

The accelerated ramp-down of Maxeon 6 module capacity has resulted in higher than initially planned restructuring costs during the fourth quarter of 2023.

Bill Mulligan, CEO of solar manufacturer Maxeon Solar Technologies, said the company has focused on reducing its manufacturing costs. The move to restructure the company’s interdigitated back contact manufacturing capacity – which was announced during the Q3 2023 financial results – coincides with a slowdown in the distributed generation market, added Mulligan.

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“The Maxeon team is highly focused on reducing manufacturing costs, OPEX rationalisation and liquidity-management to enable a return to profitability,” said Mulligan.

As the company is currently ongoing a reduction of its Maxeon 6 capacity, last November it unveiled a 22% global workforce reduction.

During the last quarter of 2023 (Q4 23), the company shipped 653MW of module capacity, a year-on-year decrease from the 734MW registered in Q4 2022. However, shipments for the full year of 2023 were up by more than 500MW, with 2.9GW shipped in 2023 versus 2.4GW in 2022.

Lower Q4 revenue as Maxeon 6 capacity ramps down

In its preliminary unaudited financial statements, Maxeon registered a revenue of US$229 million in Q4 2023, down from the US$324 million registered in the same period the previous year. On a similar note with the module shipment, the company ended the year with a higher revenue for 2023, compared to 2022, with US$ 1.12 billion and US$1.06 billion, respectively.

Furthermore, the company ended the last quarter of 2023 with a gross loss of US$32 million yet ended 2023 with a gross profit of US$80 million.

For the first quarter of 2024, Maxeon expects to ship nearly 508MW of module capacity, a more than 200MW decrease from the capacity shipped during Q1 2023 (774MW), as shown in the chart above.

Ongoing lawsuit against Canadian Solar

More recently, the company filed a tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) patent infringement lawsuit against solar manufacturer Canadian Solar.

This lawsuit, filed in the US, was the result of an investigation Maxeon started last November over TOPCon patent infringement in the US.

This is the latest in a number of patent infringement lawsuits Maxeon has initiated or filed against a company in the past twelve months. Last year, it filed two lawsuits in Germany against Chinese solar manufacturers Aiko and Tongwei.

Last November, the lawsuit against Aiko alleged infringement of Maxeon’s European patent for solar cell architectures. Maxeon said its patent relates to proprietary and fundamental solar cell architectures for rear or back contact solar cells, also known as all-back contact (ABC) solar cells or IBC solar cells. Whereas the patent infringement lawsuit against Tongwei concerns Maxeon’s shingled solar cell panel technology – European patent no. EP3522045 B1 – which it claims Tongwei has infringed on in the German market.

8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
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