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7 April 2015

Ascent Solar's expenses drive up annual loss despite quadrupling revenue

After reporting preliminary results in February, Ascent Solar Technologies Inc of Thornton, CO, USA, which makes lightweight, flexible copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic modules integrated into off-grid applications and its EnerPlex series of consumer products, has confirmed revenue for fourth-quarter 2014 of $2.4m, up 107% on last quarter's $1.1m. Specifically, EnerPlex-branded consumer product revenue was $2.3m, up 124% on $1m.

For full-year 2014, revenue was $5.3m (the firm's first ever annual revenue over $5m), more than quadrupling (up 308% year-on-year) from 2013's $1.3m. Product revenue rose 349% from $1.1m to $5m.

Loss from operations rose from $28.2m in 2013 to $33.9m in 2014, due to an increase in expenses (advertising, marketing and promotional). However, expenses are expected to be reduced or remain flat while the firm continues to ramp up revenue growth. The firm also incurred significant legal and financing expenses related to financing activities in 2014 (which included completing $35m preferred stock and convertible debt financing with an institutional investor in Q4/2014, involving a $4.5m first tranche being delivered in November and a $2.5m second tranche in December). Financing-related expenses are expected to fall substantially in 2015.

"Ascent is continuing to build its business in high-margin markets, by partnering with numerous organizations to expand the reach of our products," says chairman Dr Amit Kumar. During Q4/2014, Ascent signed UK-based Peak Development and Mexico-based TodoSolar as distributors of EnerPlex products, while Hitfar Concepts was signed as the preferred distributor in Canada. In November a distribution agreement was signed with national distributor Navarre (a division of WYNIT Distribution). EnerPlex products were launched in 25 of Micro Center's nationwide retail stores in November and - via retail partner The Cellular Connection (TCC) - in 300 Verizon Premium Wireless Retailer stores in December. Also in December, the EnerPlex brand was launched on BestBuy.com. "These partnerships will not only enable greater customer reach, but will also help strengthen the EnerPlex brand, reduce costs, and facilitate the launch of many new products," adds Kumar. 

Ascent Solar notes that the consumer electronics business presents a high degree of seasonality, so it is difficult to project sales on a quarterly basis. However, the firm expects to generate full-year revenue of $10-12m in 2015 on the basis of strong EnerPlex momentum as well as increased contributions from photovoltaic (PV) sales. During Q4/2014, Ascent's flexible PV modules were selected by Vanguard Space Technologies to develop solar arrays for space and unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV) missions.

"With the ongoing expansion of our distribution channels, I am optimistic to set yet another significant revenue milestone of over $10m," says president & CEO Victor Lee. "The reconstruction of Ascent Solar in the past three years is beginning to yield results, and we are fully prepared to execute our business plan," he adds. 

See related items:

Ascent Solar's preliminary 2014 revenues quadruple year-on-year to $5.3m

Ascent Solar closes on $35m financing

Ascent Solar's Q3 reaffirms full-year guidance of four-fold growth over 2013

Tags: Ascent Solar EnerPlex CIGS

Visit: www.AscentSolar.com

Visit: www.goenerplex.com

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