Struggling Japanese electronics giant, Sharp Corporation said would be streamlining its Energy Solutions division, which includes its PV module and sales operations, while pushing its product solutions globally.
Sharp reported that its Energy Solutions division fell to a (US$14 million) loss in its financial year third quarter, due primarily to a decline in sales of solar cells in Japan.
Energy Solutions sales reached around US$1.67 billion in the first nine months of Sharp’s financial year, down 29% from the prior year period.
Third quarter segment sales were down 27.4% from the previous quarter and totalled US$453.7 million. Solar cell sales were 349MW in the third quarter, down from 537MW in the prior quarter, a 35.1% decline.
The overall decline in Energy Solutions sales was attributed to falling sales from its recently sold US PV project developer, Recurrent Energy as well as from both residential and commercial PV business in Japan.
As a result, Sharp lowered its sales forecast for the division to around US$2.38 billion, a 36.2% decline from its previous forecast. Solar cell shipments for the full year were revised to 1.9GW, compared to 2.0GW previously guided.
Although Sharp did not mention the impact of pricing pressure, which its domestic rival, Kyocera did recently, the slight drop in shipments but a hefty fall in revenue suggest pricing pressure had a key part to play in the revenue declines guided.
To offset the decline in demand form the Japanese market, Sharp is once again laying plans to expand its global footprint in the PV sector. The company had retreated from the European and US markets several years ago, closing down module assembly plants in the UK and US and focused on the booming Japanese market. The company later exited its involvement with Enel in producing a-Si thin-film modules in Italy.