Spire Tries to Rouse their Solar Systems Division

On the heels of taking quarterly revenue losses — due to primarily to their solar systems division — Spire Corporation may be turning the corner buy having secured a new contract to provide solar PV manufacturing equipment to an Italian firm.

Spire will provide PA.SOL Italia S.p.A. of Varallo Pombia, Italy, with Spire’s photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing production line including automated equipment for solar cell stringing and lay-up, lamination, and module testing. The Italian firm is intent on tapping into the burgeoning European solar market. The new contract is good news for Spire, which earlier reported revenue for the first quarter ended March 31, 2005 of $4,180,000, a 17 percent decrease from $5,030,000 for the first quarter of 2004. Net loss for the first quarter of 2005 was $1,580,000 or $0.23 per share, compared with a net loss of $1,378,000 or $0.20 per share for the first quarter of 2004. Roger G. Little, Chairman and CEO of Spire, attributed the lower revenues for the quarter due to lower sales within their solar systems business unit. “Offsetting this decrease were increases in our contract research and development and medical products areas,” Little said. “Net loss was only slightly higher than in the first quarter of 2004 even with the decrease in revenues because of the offset by reductions in operating expenses.” Spire does more than just solar production equipment, though. The company is a diversified technology company serving the solar energy, biomedical, telecommunications and defense industries worldwide with products and services based upon a common technology platform. Spire Solar offers their SPI-LINE turnkey production lines for module, cell, and wafer manufacturing at production capacities ranging from a few hundred kW up to 25 MW per year. Spire Solar also offers a series of specialty SPI-LINE production lines for manufacturers having requirements with specific technology or production, including mono-crystalline, poly-crystalline, and ribbon crystalline solar cells. Delivery on the equipment for PA.SOL is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2005.

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