Aixtron raises 2023 growth guidance
GaN and SiC demand drives company's highest order intake since 2011
Deposition equipment firm Aixtron has continued its growth path in Q3 2023, achieving its highest quarterly order intake in the company's history since 2011.
This momentum is driven by continued high demand from end markets and in particular for efficient power electronics based on GaN and SiC. In line with these ongoing dynamics, the executive board has raised the growth guidance for the fiscal year 2023.
In the first half of 2023, the company's order intake increased by 12 percent year-on-year to €317.7 million (H1/2022: €282.8 million). In the second quarter, Aixtron's order intake was €177.8 million, 17 percent above the order intake of the previous year's period (Q2/2022: €152.6 million). The order backlog on June 30, 2023, increased significantly, reaching €412.5 million (H1/2022: €314.4 million)
Equipment for efficient SiC and GaN power electronics accounted by far for the largest share of the order intake. The reason for the continued strong growth: Aixtron is currently supporting several major customers in setting up production facilities and enabling these important semiconductor companies to manufacture SiC and GaN devices in high volumes. Aixtron's new G10 family of products sets the grounds for this – the G10-SiC, the G10-AsP and the G10-GaN, which will follow later this year.
"The main driver of our consistently strong growth comes from efficient power electronics based on SiC and GaN. And we expect this momentum to continue in the years to come. A very strong indication of this can be found in e-mobility where SiC is the preferred material system. Moreover, we already know that our systems for SiC will by far be the top-selling products in our portfolio in 2023," says Felix Grawert, CEO and president of Aixtron SE.
SiC and GaN drive double-digit growth in revenues
The continuously growing demand for efficient power electronics resulted in a significant revenue increase both in the second quarter as well as the first half of the year: Aixtron's revenues in the first half of the year went up by 31 percent year-on-year to €250.7 million (H1/2022: €191.1 million). In the second quarter, revenues reached €173.5 million, up 69 percent versus the same period last year (Q2/2022: €102.5 million). This result was also positively impacted by the fact that a large part of the export licenses outstanding in the previous quarter have now been granted, and the corresponding equipment has been delivered.
Strong earnings performance
In line with the strong revenues, the gross profit in Q2/2023 was €73.5 million, which equals a growth of 94 percent, almost doubling the results achieved in the same period of the previous year (Q2/2022: €37.8 million). The gross margin reached 42 percent (Q2/2022: 37 percent). In the first half year 2023, Aixtron achieved a gross profit of €104.6 million and a gross margin of also 42 percent (H1/2022: €73.7 million; 39 percent).
Raise of full-year growth guidance
Due to the unabated strong demand, the executive board continues to expect significant growth with increasing margins and orders for the remainder of the financial year.
Expected order intake for FY/2023 is now to be between €620.0 million and €700.0 million (previously: between €600.0 million and €680.0 million); revenues are now expected to range between €600.0 million and €660.0 million (previously: between €580.0 million and €640.0 million); expected gross margin as before about 45 percent; expected EBIT margin as before around 25 percent to 27 percent.
Strongly investing in R&D
In the first half of 2023, operating expenses amounted to €56.5 million, 34 percent higher than in the same period of the previous year (H1/2022: €42.3 million). In Q2/2023, operating expenses reached €28.9 million, an increase of 40 percent compared to Q2/2022 ( €20.6 million). This was mainly due to increased expenses in research and development (R&D). These investments into existing as well as the development of new system generations will lay the foundation to secure and further expand Aixtron's strong market position.
Aixtron concluded the second quarter of 2023 with an operating result (EBIT) of €44.6 million and a strong EBIT margin of 26 percent, an increase of 159 percent and 9 percentage points (Q2/2022: €17.2 million; 17 percent). In the first half of the year, the operating result (EBIT) reached €48.1 million, with an EBIT margin of 19 percent (H1/2022: €31.4 million; 16 percent).
The profit for the period in the first half of the year increased significantly by 41 percent to €43.9 million (H1/2022: €31.1 million). Of this, €40.4 million was achieved in the current year's second quarter, an increase of 134 percent compared to the same period in 2022 (Q2/2022: €17.3 million).
In the first half of 2023, Aixtron's free cash flow was €-80.1 million (H1/2022: €27.5 million; Q2/2023: €-82.0 million; Q1/2023: €1.9 million). This development is primarily driven by outflows to increase inventories in preparation of the planned revenue growth in the second half of 2023.
As of June 30, 2023, Aixtron reported cash and cash equivalents including other current financial assets of €210.4 million (Dec. 31, 2022: €325.2 million). This includes a dividend payment from May 2023 of €34.8 million. The equity ratio as of June 30, 2023, was 75 percent (Dec. 31, 2022: 73 percent).