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28 October 2010

 

Aixtron reports revenue up 11% in Q3 to record €212.7m

Supported by ongoing high system demand, mainly fuelled by high-brightness LED backlighting and lighting applications (and positively influenced by the stronger US dollar), deposition equipment maker Aixtron AG of Aachen-Herzogenrath, Germany says that in third-quarter 2010 it saw a continuation from in recent quarters of its positive growth trend in orders, revenue (the sixth consecutive quarter of growth) and profitability (the fifth consecutive quarter of improvement).

Fiscal

Q4/2009

Q1/2010

Q2/2010

Q3/2010

Revenue

€117.9m

€154.5m

€191.8m

€212.7m

Revenue was €212.7m (up 11% on Q2’s €191.8m and up 159% on €82m a year ago). This took revenue for the first nine months of 2010 to €559.1m (more than tripling from €184.9m year-on-year). Of this, 93% came from Asia and just 4% from the USA and 3% from Europe (up from 80%, 5% and 15% for the first nine months of 2009, driven by revenue 254% growth for Asia). By application, 93% of revenue was for LEDs and just 2% for telecoms/datacoms, 1% for silicon, and 4% for displays/other.

Although up from 42% a year ago, gross margin has fallen from 55% in Q2 to 52% in Q3, due mainly to the product and final acceptance mix in the quarter. However, despite some offsetting effects on operating margin from currency hedging and translation expenses, the operating result has risen from €60.6m in Q2 to €82.6m, resulting in EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margin rising from just 20% a year ago and 32% in Q2 to 39%. Net income has risen by almost five-fold from €11.6m a year ago (a margin of just 14% of sales) and by 34% from €42.3m in Q2 (22% margin) to €56.8m (27% margin). Cash and cash equivalents (including cash deposits) have increased from €301.2m to €444.6m over the first nine months of 2010.

“We have once more delivered on what we said we would deliver, namely a very strong set of results with excellent operational leverage,” says president & CEO Paul Hyland. “It is a significant moment, when we can report an EBIT figure for the first nine months of the year [€189.6m] that is higher than the revenue figure for the same period in the prior year [€184.9],” he adds.

In line with expectations, equipment orders have continued the strong demand trend predicted previously, from €168.5m in Q1 to €175.4m in Q2 and now €200.4m in Q3 (up 14% on Q2 and up 70% on 117.6m a year ago). “We continue to see healthy demand in the current quarter, mainly for LED backlighting and increasingly for LED lighting manufacturing systems, which, in my opinion, looking ahead at the next 2-3 years, underlines the very positive outlook for the industry,” says Hyland. For example, in Q3/2010 Aixtron announced a multi-system order from China-based Neo-Neon International Ltd (which specializes in LED-based light replacement products). New-generation MOCVD system orders for LED manufacturing were also received from China’s Sanan Optoelectronics and Taiwan’s Epistar and Tekcore. In total, more than 30% of LED production systems ordered in Q3 were for Aixtron’s new-generation G5 and CRIUS II systems (launched in Q1/2010), which have the potential to more than double productivity over previous-generation systems.

Order backlog has hence risen from €152.4m a year ago and €250m in Q2 to €278.7m. Of this, Aixtron expects about €180m to be converted into revenue by the end of 2010, supplemented by a further €11m from spares and services.

Reflecting the positive business outlook for the remainder of the year, Aixtron’s executive board has reiterated its full-year revenue guidance of about €750m (which, at the end of July, was raised from late April’s guidance of €650–700m and mid-March’s guidance of €600–650m). At today’s exchange rate, this is more than USD1bn. Aixtron has now also raised its guidance for full-year 2010 EBIT margin again, to about 35% (from guidance in late July of 33%, in late April of 30%, and in mid-March of 25%).

“With the opening of our new R&D center this month [involving an investment of about €15m by the end of 2010], we plan to even further strengthen our ability to offer the most competitive and compelling technology and value propositions to our customers available on the market,” concludes Hyland. Total company staffing has risen from 649 a year ago to 766 but, of the 117 increase, as many as 52 were in R&D.

Aixtron also plans to complete the roll-out of its group-wide SAP Enterprise Software System during the remainder of this year.

See related items:

Aixtron grows revenue 24% in Q2, as order backlog hits €250m 

Aixtron grows 31% in Q1; orders up fivefold year-on-year

Aixtron reports 2009 revenue up 10% to a record €302.9m

See: Aixtron Company Profile

Search: Aixtron MOCVD

Visit: www.aixtron.com

For more: Latest issue of Semiconductor Today

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