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30 January 2015

Riber's revenue falls 29% in 2014 to €16.6m

For fourth-quarter 2014, Riber S.A. of Bezons, France, which manufactures molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) systems as well as evaporation sources and effusion cells, has reported revenue of €7.4m, up on €4.3m last quarter but down 44% on €13.2m a year ago. Full-year revenue was €16.6m, down 29% on 2013 due to a significant deterioration in the market. Of total revenue, 55% came from Europe, 34% from Asia and 11% from the Americas. Full-year earnings figures will be released on 2 April, but Riber expects a net loss of over €3m (compared with net income of €0.2m in 2013).

As expected, MBE Systems revenue fell in 2014, by 45% from €116.9m in 2013 to €19.3m (falling from 17 systems to just 11 R&D machines), due mainly to contraction in available research budgets during first-half 2014, faced with persistently sluggish industrial markets.

In the context of contracting revenue in 2014, Riber has focused on research laboratories, which represent the most resilient market segment. More specifically, the commercial development of new ranges of MBE systems and increasing sales of services & accessories have helped to further strengthen Riber's positions alongside its R&D clients. Riber has also continued to move forward with its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) development plan, with pilot materials sold in Korea during second-half 2014.

Consequently, revenue for Services & Accessories (€6.1m) and Cells & Sources (€1.1m) are up 10% overall on 2013. This growth has been driven by the increase in sales to research laboratories, particularly with the development of a business line to refurbish systems that have become obsolete.

Riber says that, regarding the market for OLED flat screens, it further strengthened its close technical links with the market's leading operators in 2014 in order to support the development of its new range of linear cells, for which an order was recorded during second-half 2014 to equip a pilot line. Various on-site qualification tests are planned for first-half 2015.

Considering the improvement in commercial activity over second-half 2014, an upturn is expected in 2015, with orders gradually picking up again. In particular, fourth-quarter 2014 confirmed the improvement in Riber's order levels, with five MBE research systems ordered in China, Japan, New Zealand, Romania and Russia (the latter delivered at the end of 2014). Meanwhile, orders for services and components also picked up during second-half 2014. At the end of December 2014, including orders for six systems and €1.9m of orders for services, cells and accessories, the order book totaled €6m (although this is still down 15% year-on-year).

Due to the upturn in orders during second-half 2014, as well as the deliveries made over this period and the effective cash management approach implemented, Riber's consolidated net cash position at the end of 2014 was positive, coming in at nearly €2m, an improvement on €1.7m at the end of 2013 and the low of -€0.9m at the end of June 2014, despite the difficult environment.

"Thanks to the significant progress made over the past year in terms of diversifying products, developing services, ensuring effective control over costs and delivery times, against a backdrop of expected growth in semiconductor research programs, Riber is confident that its performance levels will pick up again in 2015 and it will be able to achieve its strategic objectives for profitable growth over the medium term," says Frédérick Goutard, chairman of the executive board.

See related items:

Riber receives research MBE system order from Japanese electronics equipment maker

Riber receives two orders for Compact 21 MBE systems

Riber receives research MBE system orders from Romania and New Zealand

Riber sees 44% revenue growth in Q3, driven by research MBE systems

Riber's first-half revenue down 39% year-on-year to €4.8m

Riber makes profit in 2013 despite revenue falling 14%

Riber's 2013 revenue to end-September down 39% year-on-year to €10.2m

Tags: Riber MBE

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