IQE’s advanced CPV business approaches qualification
IQE’s advanced solar CPV business is in the final stages of qualification and remains on track to move from customer qualification to production in second-half 2014.
With continued progress in the end market and a new strategic investor involved with CPV cell manufacturing partner Solar Junction Corp, Epiwafer foundry and substrate maker IQE reckons that the outlook for its engagement in this rapidly growing market looks highly attractive.
In its trading statement for the six months to end-June 2014, Wales-based IQE reported that first-half revenues at the end of 2013 were impacted by destocking at a number of major customers, coupled with the strength of sterling (which also had an adverse translational effect). IQE hence expects first-half revenue of about £52m, down 17% on first-half 2013’s £63m. In constant currency, sales were down about 10%.
Although revenue was down, a combination of efficiency gains, economies of scale, and sales mix has improved profitability. IQE expects EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of about £11m, up 5% on first-half 2013’s £10.5m. Net debt is expected to be less than £36m (cut from first-half 2013’s £37.5m) despite one-off restructuring cash costs of £3m during first-half 2014. IQE also invested in a strategic inventory build of about £2m during first-half 2014 as part of its synergy program.
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