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4 April 2013

Riber’s income halved in 2012 as Sources & Cells sales drop counteracts Systems growth

For full-year 2012, Riber S.A. of Bezons, France, which manufactures molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) systems as well as evaporation sources and effusion cells, has now reported its earnings, after reporting revenue in late January.

Revenue was €27.4m, down 5% on 2011’s €29m but up on 2010’s €20.7m. Full-year Systems revenue was €19.4m, up 68% on 2011’s €11.5m. This reflects “the dynamic level of commercial development with compound semiconductor firms and research centers” as sales of Systems rose from 10 invoiced and delivered in 2011 to 17 in 2012 (including a record 15 systems delivered to research laboratories). Riber hence achieved its strategic revenue target for MBE, with strong growth in the research sector. Specifically, there has been an acceleration of growth in emerging markets where Riber has a long-standing presence (e.g. China, Russia, Turkey etc).

The growth in MBE system business has offset a decline in sales of Evaporation Sources & Cells of 83%, from €12m in 2011 to just €2.1m in 2012. However, 2011 had been exceptional, marked by the delivery of major equipment orders for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen production lines in Asia, and this market is still buoyant, says Riber.

Revenue from Services & Accessories has returned to growth, up 9% from €5.4m in 2011 to €5.9m in 2012, confirming the upturn in business during second-half 2012, despite the difficult economic climate. The Services and Accessories business has benefited from work carried out at the end of 2011 to further strengthen the firm’s commercial and technical organization, says Riber.

Due to a less favorable product mix than in 2011, gross margin fell from 42.9% in 2011 to 33.2% in 2012. Riber still achieved an operating profit of €2m (an operating margin of 7.2% of revenue), though down from €4.3m (15% margin) for 2011. As well as the downturn in overall revenue and the change in product mix, profitability was also affected by the year-on-year change concerning the reversal of provisions for inventories (€0.6m in 2012 versus €1.7m in 2011). Net income fell from €4.3m in 2011 (14.8% of revenue) to €1.9m (7% of revenue) in 2012.

During the year, cash reserves have fallen from €6.8m to €5.3m, factoring in the impact of seasonality in deliveries on working capital requirements, in addition to the dividend paid out for 2011, the increase in investments and the significant ramping up of R&D efforts. Riber’s management board will be submitting a proposal at the firm’s general meeting on 31 May for a dividend of €0.04 per share.

Riber says that its order book has risen from €12.1m at end-2012 to €15.5m at the end of February, confirming the healthy market for MBE research systems, in which Riber reckons it is particularly well positioned (with orders for 13 machines to be delivered in 2013).

Riber says that in 2013 it is moving forward with deploying its growth strategy of:

  • continuing to further strengthen its position in the market for MBE reactors;
  • capitalizing on its installed base and growing sales of epitaxy equipment, spare parts and accessories, as well as the corresponding services;
  • launching a range of equipment and services for high-growth applications (OLED lighting and screens, thin-layer solar cells, etc); and
  • in the longer term, integrating MBE into the silicon manufacturing chain.

As recommended by Riber’s management board, and in order to support the firm’s growth strategy, the supervisory board has appointed the following new supervisory board members: Dominique Pons, director at III-V Lab (the joint Thales, Alcatel-Lucent and CEA-Leti industrial research laboratory); and Gildas Sorin, CEO of German firm Novaled (which develops materials for OLED production). The appointments will be submitted for approval at the general meeting on 31 May.

See related items:

Riber’s revenue rises 47% in Q4/2012

Riber’s Q3 revenue up 33% year-on-year

Riber’s first-half revenue falls 28% year-on-year as Q2 falls 16% on Q1

Riber’s Q1 revenues up 8% year-on-year, driven by system sales

Riber’s revenue grows 40% to €29m in 2011

Tags: Riber MBE


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