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Property sale propels Riber into profit

The French MBE equipment vendor broke even on an operational basis, but site consolidation brought in an extra €10.6 million.

MBE equipment specialist Riber swung to a net profit of €10.4 million ($13.8 million) in 2006.

The French firm had made a net loss of €0.9 million in the previous year, but the 2006 figures were skewed by Riber's move into a new location. The switch netted €10.6 million in property sales.

On an operating basis, Riber broke even after a drop in sales of research equipment in 2006 was more than offset by a strong upturn in sales of production equipment, particularly to the US.

Total 2006 sales came in at €20 million, up 14 percent on 2005. Thanks to a doubling of orders from US customers, production sales rose 57 percent to €9.6 million.

On the down side, the weak dollar hurt Riber's gross profit margin, while revenue from sales of research MBE equipment also fell 14 percent to €5.1 million. Accessories and spare parts accounted for the remainder of Riber's earnings.

Currently with an order backlog of €8.5 million, Riber is expecting its revenue for fiscal 2007 to be flat or slightly down on the 2006 figure, although an improved operating profit is anticipated.

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