August 11, 2009 / 9:54 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Timminco loss deepens as customers cut purchases

* Net loss C$0.20/shr vs C$0.07/shr

* Sales down 65 pct at C$22.3 million

* Working on improving quality of solar silicon material

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Timminco Ltd’s TIM.TO net loss deepened more than threefold in the second quarter as its customers, hit by the global recession, reduced metal and mineral purchases, results showed on Tuesday.

The company, which has developed its own method of purifying silicon metal into solar-grade silicon to make solar power cells, posted a net loss of C$24 million ($22 million) or 20 Canadian cents a share for the three months ended June.

That compared with a net loss of C$7 million or 7 Canadian cents a share in the same period a year ago.

Timminco, which also produces silicon metal that is used in a wide range of industrial applications, reported second-quarter sales of C$22.3 million, down sharply from C$63.3 million.

The company has been hard hit by a global slump in the solar energy market because of a dearth of funding due to the credit crisis and an oversupply of solar panels and parts.

As a result, Timminco has scaled back production and staff until demand recovers.

Chairman and Chief Executive Heinz Schimmelbusch said the company was working on improving its solar grade silicon operations to allow its customers to create wafers and cells that are indistinguishable from solar cells made from polysilicon.

“This would meet the increased quality requirements demanded by our customers this year,” he said in a statement.

$1=$1.10 Canadian Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Rob Wilson

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