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REC Silicon - First Quarter 2019 Results

Fornebu, Norway - REC Silicon reported first quarter 2019 revenues of USD 45.0 million, compared to USD 48.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. EBITDA for the first quarter of 2019 was USD 4.7 million and included the impact of implementing IFRS 16 regarding leases which resulted in a USD 3.4 million smaller EBITDA loss for the quarter.

The solar company reported a cash balance of USD 25.4 million on March 31, 2019. According to REC Silicon this represents a decrease of USD 6.4 million compared to the cash balance on December 31, 2018. Cash outflows from operations was USD 3.5 million for the quarter which included interest of USD 0.7 million associated with leases. Cash outflows from financing activities consisted of USD 2.8 million payments of lease liabilities.

Polysilicon sales volume for the quarter was 2,004 MT compared to 1,664 MT in the prior quarter, while inventory decreased by 496 MT.

Silicon gas sales volumes for the fourth quarter were 829 MT compared to guidance of 850 MT. Silane gas prices decreased by 3.3 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2018. Fourth quarter semiconductor polysilicon production was 285 MT compared to guidance of 290 MT.

President and CEO, Tore Torvund said, "First quarter results are far below our potential due to restricted access to Chinese markets. We are hopeful that REC Silicon's access to polysilicon markets in China will be restored and we can return to 100% capacity utilization in our FBR facility."

The FBR facility in Moses Lake operated at approximately 25 percent throughout the first quarter. FBR production was 1,091 MT compared to guidance of 1,180 MT. FBR production costs were USD 13.5/kg compared to guidance of USD 12.8/kg. The Board of Directors has initiated a plan to curtail the operation of the FBR facility beginning on May 15, 2019 to reduce spending and to maintain liquidity. Unless access to polysilicon markets in China is restored, the facility will be placed in a long-term shutdown by June 30, 2019. As REC Silicon points out, the timing and length of the shutdown are dependent on whether REC Silicon is able to regain access to Chinese markets for polysilicon as a result of trade negotiations between China and the United States or other significant positive developments in solar grade polysilicon markets.

Source: IWR Online, 13 May 2019