Q2 Orders and Revenues Up for Aixtron
Company prepares for launch of next generation MOCVD tool
Aixtron SE, a provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, has announced revenues of â‚¬ 46.2m for the second quarter of 2014, 5 percent higher sequentially and 2 percent higher compared to a year ago. The company's gross profit at â‚¬ 12.6m was 17 percent higher than in the previous quarter, mainly due to higher volumes and a more favorable product mix. It was up slightly year-on-year compared to â‚¬ 12.3m in Q2/2013.
Aixtron's order intake in Q2/2014 improved by 25 percent year-on-year to â‚¬ 38.2m. Sequentially, orders were up for the fifth consecutive quarter reflecting an improving market sentiment in the first half of 2014. The total equipment order backlog of â‚¬ 66.4m as at June 30, 2014 was 14 percent higher than the 2014 opening backlog of â‚¬ 58.1m.
Mainly due to the next generation MOCVD tool being in the qualification phase at key customers, R&D costs in Q2/2014 increased year-on-year by 22 percent to â‚¬ 15.5m and 13 percent sequentially. At 34 percent of revenues, R&D spending remained at a relatively high level that underlines the important strategic significance of Aixtron's internal R&D capabilities. Further progress was made in SG&A expenses. They were further reduced sequentially by 13 percent to â‚¬ 7.9m in Q2/2014.
Commenting on the market environment and the development in the second quarter Martin Goetzeler, president and CEO said: "As evidenced by our fifth consecutive quarter of higher equipment orders, the demand for LEDs is growing partially due to a wide range of new LED lighting products being sold into the warehouses and stores, especially into regions such as China. A successful sell-out to consumers would represent the next stage of the transition away from traditional to LED lighting.
He added: "We have made good progress in the qualification process and are preparing for the market launch of our new MOCVD tool generation later this year. Furthermore, we continue to push the development of our other technology areas. These include MOCVD for power electronic and logic applications, ALD for memory, OVPD for OLED applications and PECVD for carbon nanomaterials including graphene. Here we continue to see substantial market potential for Aixtron."
The company has now successfully entered phase two of its Five-Point-Program, according to Goetzeler, specifically addressing the reduction of material costs and discretionary spending as well as further process improvements preparing the ground to return to sustainable profitability. "In combination with our continued dedication to R&D, we remain confident that we are on track to bring Aixtron back on the path to success," he said
Aixtron has repeated its original guidance for 2014 made at the end of February, for revenues to be in line with those of last year. Concurrently, the company is not expected to be profitable on an EBIT basis over the course of this year. Nevertheless, there is expected to be a year-on-year improvement in earnings due to progress made in cost savings and restructuring.