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GCL-Poly Reports First Loss in Three Years on Falling Prices

GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd., the world’s biggest maker of polysilicon, reported its first full-year loss since 2009 as prices sank on a glut of supply and global economic uncertainty.

The loss was HK$3.52 billion ($454 million) for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of HK$4.27 billion a year earlier, GCL-Poly said today in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The loss was almost triple the HK$1.2 billion mean estimate of 19 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

“Market prices of polysilicon and wafer continued to decline in 2012,” the company said in the statement. The company will “actively seek the use of low-cost long-term financing products to strengthen our capital structure and solidify our operations,” it said.

A glut across the solar-component industry has combined with slowing demand to send prices tumbling and drive some companies into bankruptcy. The 17-member BI Global Large Solar index has fallen 25 percent in the past year.

Wafer prices dropped 24 percent last year while the average spot price of polysilicon, the raw material for most solar panels, was down 40 percent, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data.

The tumble led companies including units of Baoding Tianwei Baobian Electric Co. to halt production and prompted GCL-Poly to stop expansion last year. Jiangsu Sunshine Co., a Chinese maker of textile products and raw material for solar panels, in January filed for bankruptcy at its polysilicon unit after failing to cope with a decline in prices.

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