Riber To Pay Shareholder Dividend
Paris-based epitaxy equipment firm Riber posted a strong return to financial health in 2008, with a 13 per cent sales increase to €19.3 million ($26.2 million).
The improvement turned an operating income of €0.27 million, compared with a loss of more than €6 million in the previous year - indicating a series of changes to company management over the past 12 months (see related story).
Demonstrating its confidence in future business, Riber's board is set to propose the award of a shareholder dividend of €0.02 per share at the company's annual general meeting on May 14.
"In a highly unstable economic and financial environment at the start of the 2009 fiscal year, the market for research center and university-dedicated systems continued to perform well," said Riber in its statement.
Although sales of production MBE systems to III-V device manufacturing companies are highly unpredictable because of the current climate, the company does expect income from related component sales and services to increase this year.
Overall, Riber posted a net loss of just over €1 million in 2008, compared with €9.7 in the previous year.
Aside from the stronger sales picture, the company attributed that improvement to better productivity and cost control.
Riber's diversification into equipment for organic material deposition and photovoltaics applications also looks vindicated, with sales of evaporation sources for organic LEDs and thin-film solar cells "taking off".