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MACOM Closing Its Northern Ireland Belfast Centre Due To Changing Market Conditions

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Semiconductor, components and subassembly manufacturer MACOM is closing its base in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with the loss of around 20 jobs due to "changing market conditions", reports the Belfast Telegraph.

"MACOM, like many other companies, is continually evaluating its teams, offices and skill mix to align with the company's broader business requirements and market changes," said a spokesman for the firm. "Over the last 12 months there have been a number of changes in business conditions, which has unfortunately resulted in changes to the team in Belfast."

Last year, MACOM announced a move from its offices at Newforge Lane in the south of the city to City Quays 1 at Belfast Harbour, aiming to double its team of 22 staff. But now the firm is said to be moving out of its City Quays offices this month.

In 2012, the firm said it was investing £2.5m in a major R&D project at its Belfast center, and received backing of £700,000 from Invest NI. "We continue to liaise with the company to leverage the best possible outcome for Northern Ireland, including minimizing the impact on Belfast-based staff who may be affected by potential redundancies," says a spokeswoman for the economic development agency.

"Our design business locally is working with gallium nitride on silicon," said Dr Andrew Patterson (who headed up the business in Northern Ireland) to the Belfast Telegraph last year. "This is a technology which the company has acquired and they are growing," he added. In 2012, he said the firm's decision to invest in R&D demonstrated its loyalty to Northern Ireland. "The Belfast center has been a key research and development operation for the company, successfully developing a number of specialist components for the semiconductor market."

For the fiscal year ended 29 September 2017, MACOM reported an operating loss of $16.1m compared with an operating income of $13.2m the prior year, despite revenue growing by 28.4% from $544.3m to $698.8m. The latest three months had been "very challenging", commented president & CEO John Croteau.


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