Bede encouraged by return to profit
X-ray inspection equipment vendor Bede has seen a big jump in orders for its characterization tools, and turned a small pre-tax profit in the final quarter of 2006.
Bookings in 2006 totalled £7.5 million ($14.8 million), up strongly on the £4.2 million figure in 2005. In the final quarter of 2006, order intake trebled year-on-year to £2.1 million.
Pre-tax profit in the final quarter of 2006 was £0.4 million, compared with a loss of £1.9 million during the same period in 2005, although in 2006 as a whole, Bede made a pre-tax loss of £3.6 million on declining sales.
Pointing to the semiconductor industry s shift towards more complex, strain-engineered devices that Bede s characterization tools are primarily designed for, plus a boost from orders placed by customers in Asia, the UK company is looking positive for 2007.
Bede chairman Stuart McIntosh says that it began the year with £2.8 million in orders, compared with only £1.6 million at the start of 2006.
However, cash and cash equivalents now stand at just £0.9 million, down from £4.6 million one year ago.