15 September 2011
Aixtron lowers full-year 2011 guidance
Deposition equipment maker Aixtron SE of Herzogenrath, Germany has issued new guidance for full-year 2011 of €600–650m in revenue (revised from €800–900m), with an EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) operating profit of 25–30% (rather than 35%). Management has also reviewed its existing equipment order backlog and has decided, as a matter of prudence, to reduce the previously published order backlog by €100m (from €373.5m).
The firm says that this new guidance and backlog adjustment reflects the perceived increase in conversion risk, purchase order delays and deferred system delivery requests into 2012 by several customers, specifically in Asia.
Whilst in the opinion of management, the mid- to long-term LED market opportunities remain very positive, recent discussions with Asian customers have revealed increasing concern about the short-term fragility of the economic recovery, leading to investment caution, the firm says. Coupled with evident margin pressures from rapidly dropping end-market prices for LEDs, several customers are delaying new purchase order placements and deferring system deliveries into 2012.
However, with the very positive customer response to the firm’s new CRIUS II-L metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system (launched in early July), Aixtron’s management continues to believe that the imminence of an emerging LED lighting industry — in conjunction with initiatives such as the Chinese 5-year plan — continues to support the positive outlook for the LED industry, despite short-term demand adjustments driven by market uncertainty.