The Department of Energy recently awarded $25 million to a French company that posted net losses of about $70 million last year, and whose solar division is particularly troubled financially.

As part of its Scaling Up Nascent PV At Home (SUNPATH) project, DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) division announced three awards in June to promote high-volume solar energy production.

The largest of the three awards, totaling $25 million, went to Soitec Solar, a French company, to build a solar production facility in San Diego, CA. While Soitec is not in dire financial straits like some other DOE-backed companies, it posted hefty losses during its last financial year, which ended March 31. A number of its major financial indicators were worse than the prior financial year.

According to a company report, Soitec posted a gross profit of $63.1 million, down from $82.9 million the year before; operating losses of $57.3 million, down from an operating profit of $2.3 million the year before; and a net loss of $70.5 million, up from $22.4 the year before (all dollar amounts are converted from euros).

The company’s solar division was also deeply in the red. It posted operating losses of $56.2 million in the financial year that ended in March, up from an operating loss of $31.2 million the year before. Its gross profits were -244% of its sales for that year, meaning it lost about $2.44 for every dollar in sales it took in.

The report predicts that solar sales will increase in the second half of Soitec’s 2012-2013 financial year. Read the entire report here: