REC Silicon Q4 Revenue Rises on Semiconductor Strength, Signals Recovery

The company will shut down polysilicon production at its Butte facility to optimize operations

February 8, 2024


Norway-based polysilicon manufacturer REC Silicon reported a revenue of $40.5 million in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023, a 28% year-over-year (YoY) rise from $31.6 million, driven by strong performance in the semiconductor business.

The company had posted lower YoY revenues for all other quarters in 2023, signaling a recovery in a market battered by excess inventories.

Revenue from semiconductor materials rose 28% to $40.3 million from $31.5 million last year on the steady power device market, helped by rapid growth in mobile applications, renewable energy, and electric vehicles.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), however, came in at a loss that widened to $31.2 million from $23.6 million last year. The increased EBITDA loss was primarily due to wider losses in the solar materials segment.

The solar materials segment’s EBITDA loss widened to $25.8 million in Q4 2023 from $10.5 million in Q4 2022. This reflects continued expenditures to restart production at the Moses Lake facility in Washington.

REC Silicon restarted production at its Moses Lake polysilicon facility in Q4 2023 and is targeting to ramp up to full capacity by the end of 2024.

Total polysilicon sales volumes, including by-products, fell 8.5% sequentially to 182 MT from 199 MT in Q3 as demand from China cooled.

Net profit was $104.4 million compared to a net loss of $26 million in Q4 2022. The profit was mainly due to a $135.5 million gain from the sale of the Yulin joint venture in China.

Additionally, the company said that the Red Sea Crisis has affected its scheduling and freight costs in European routes.

FY 2023

Revenues decreased 4% to $141.1 million compared to $147.8 million in FY 2022 due to lower polysilicon sales volume, partially offset by higher average selling prices.

The total polysilicon sales volume has halved to 749 MT from last year.

EBITDA loss in FY 2023 widened to $80.5 million from $34.9 million YoY, driven by lower revenues and higher operating expenses.

Net profit was $30.5 million compared to a net loss of $87 million last year. The swing to profit was primarily attributed to the $135.5 million gain on the Yulin JV sale.

Optimizing operations

The company also announced it will shut down polysilicon production at its Butte, Montana facility to optimize operations. The polysilicon business will continue to produce for about six to nine months to fulfill polysilicon supply obligations.

After the supply obligations are satisfied, the company expects that the workforce in Butte will be reduced accordingly.

This decision led to a $7.5 million write-down of polysilicon assets in Q4 2023.

The company’s third-quarter revenue, however, fell 5% on lower polysilicon prices influenced by an expansion of polysilicon plants in China, leading to oversupply and inventory growth. This followed an 18% decline in revenue in the second quarter of 2023.