Aixtron pushes its performance with $7.8m profit
Germany-based epitaxy equipment vendor Aixtron returned to profit in 2006 on the back of strong performances in both its compound semiconductor and silicon divisions.
The company, which has enjoyed strong sales for its newest range of MOCVD equipment, posted a net profit of €5.9 million ($7.8 million) on total sales of €171.7 million in 2006.
Aixtron easily exceeded its original financial target of breaking even in 2006, an understandably cautious goal that was set after it had made a net loss of €53.7 million in 2005.
Of the 2006 sales, 56 percent were attributable to compound semiconductor applications - including both MOCVD equipment and organic deposition tools - reflecting Aixtron s strategy to become less dependent on the compounds market, and allied to its investment in the advanced silicon deposition specialist Genus.
Revenues from compound semiconductor applications jumped 20 percent year-on-year, while a reduction in administrative overheads also contributed to the much healthier bottom-line performance.
2006 was also a very strong year for order intake at Aixtron. Orders rose by 79 percent to €136.8 million. This boom was largely due to a sharp rise in demand from makers of high-brightness LEDs throughout 2006.
With a healthy order backlog of €85.1 million, Aixtron CEO Paul Hyland believes that the company will post sales of between €190 million and €200 million in 2007, and improve net profit to around the €15 million mark.
Through 2009, by which time the annual market for all MOCVD equipment is predicted by VLSI Research to reach $235 million, Aixtron is aiming to maintain a market share of 60 percent, equivalent to $141 million.