REC Silicon ASA (STO:RECO) today said its first-quarter revenues fell 28.5% quarter-over-quarter to USD 57.5 million (EUR 52.6m) due to lower polysilicon sales volumes.
The Norway-based company, whose manufacturing facilities are located in the US, sold 2,509 tonnes of polysilicon in the first three months of 2017, which it said was near expectations and marked a decline of 34% from the fourth quarter of 2016. Average solar grade polysilicon prices moved up during the quarter but declined near the end of the period as, REC Silicon said, the expected acceleration of photovoltaic (PV) demand ahead of the Chinese feed-in tariff (FiT) rate cuts at midyear did not materialise by the end of the quarter. As a whole, solar grade prices showed a 9.5% rise compared to the previous quarter.
Polysilicon production was generally in line with guidance, at 3,127 tonnes.
The company said it continues to focus on maintaining liquidity and reducing costs. It increased its cash balance by USD 15.2 million over the quarter to USD 80.9 million. It also achieved FBR (Fluidised Bed Reactor) cash cost of USD 10.7 per kg, better than its guidance of USD 11 per kg, which it said demonstrates the low cost capability of its FBR technology in spite of lower capacity utilisation due to the trade war between the US and China.
Chief executive Tore Torvund hailed the fact that the company's silicon gas sales volumes of 820 tonnes was above expectations in a historically relatively weak quarter and projected that silicon gas sales will remain strong throughout the year.
More details of the company's performance are in the table:
|(in USD million)
|Polysilicon sales (in tonnes)
REC Silicon also said its Yulin joint venture in China is on track for start-up in the second half of 2017 and it is continuing talks to defer its remaining USD 169 million capital contributions until after 2018.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.915)
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