A fall in the price of solar glass and rising costs for raw materials have contributed to a warning of a drop in first-half profit at Xinyi Solar, one of the world’s largest suppliers of glass to the solar power industry.

Profit is likely to drop by 33% to 43% from HK$3.07 billion a year earlier, based on preliminary five-month data, the company said in a statement Friday evening,

Xinyi Solar, controlled by Chinese billionaire Lee Yin Yee, fell 3.5% in trading at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to HK$12.66 at approximately 10 a.m. on Monday after the announcement; its shares have lost more than a fifth of their value in the past 12 months.

The drop in profit is “primarily due to the decrease in the profitability of the solar glass business” owing to “around 10-20% decreases in the average market prices of solar glass products” along with “significant increases in the costs of raw materials and energy, such as soda ash and natural gas.”

“The impact of the above adverse factors was partially offset by the group’s achievement of high sales volume and improved production efficiency,” the statement said. A sales figure wasn’t given.

China is the world’s largest supplier of solar panels and producer of solar energy.

Xinyi Glass, a Lee business which supplies glass to the construction industry, also warned on Friday that net profit for the six months ending June 30 is expected to decrease by 35% to 50% from HK$5.38 billion a year earlier due to lower glass prices and higher costs. Its shares have lost nearly 43% of their value in the past year, and were down 0.3% at approximately HK$18.14 at 10 a.m. this morning in Hong Kong.

Lee, one of a trio of billionaires with fortunes tied to Xinyi Solar and Xinyi Glass, has a fortune estimated at $3.8 billion on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List today. Xinyi Glass CEO Tung Ching Sai has fortune worth $1.5 billion and Xinyi Glass vice chairman Tung Ching Bor is worth $1.4 billion.

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@rflannerychina

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