Riber reports 29 percent drop in revenues for 2014
Company blames persistently sluggish industrial markets
Riber, the French MBE company, has reported â‚¬16.6 million in revenues for 2014, 29 percent down compared to 2013.
The poor performance is linked to a deterioration in the market, says the company. Despite this difficult environment, Riber reports that it has improved its cash position compared with the end of 2013. Sales of services and components are also growing, while orders picked up again over the second half of 2014.
Over the last year, the group has focused on research laboratories, which represent the most resilient market segment. More specifically, the successful commercial development of new ranges of MBE systems and the increase in sales of services and accessories have helped to further strengthen Riber's positions alongside its R&D clients. At the same time, Riber has continued moving forward with its OLED development plan, with pilot materials sold in Korea during the second half of the year.
An upturn is expected for 2015 considering the improvement in commercial activity over the second part of the year, with orders gradually picking up again, as well as the positive net cash position of nearly â‚¬2.0 million.
As expected, the MBE Systems business saw its revenues fall in 2014. Systems sales were limited to 11 R&D machines, compared with the 17 invoiced in 2013. This drop in sales is primarily linked to the contraction in the research budgets available during the first half of 2014, faced with persistently sluggish industrial markets. Sales of services and accessories (â‚¬6.1 million) and cells and sources (â‚¬1.1 million) are up 10 percent compared with 2013. This growth has been driven by the increase in sales to research laboratories, particularly with the development of a business line to refurbish systems that have become obsolete.
On the market for OLED flat screens, Riber further strengthened its close technical links with the market's leading operators in 2014 in order to support the development of its new range of linear cells, for which an order was recorded during the second half of the year to equip a pilot line. Various on-site qualification tests are planned for the first half of 2015.
At December 31st, 2014, the breakdown of Riber's revenues was as follows: 55 percent for Europe, 34 percent for Asia and 11 percent for the American Continent.
During the fourth quarter of 2014, Riber confirmed the improvement in its order levels, with five MBE research systems ordered in China, Japan, New Zealand, Romania and Russia, with this last system delivered at the end of 2014.
At December 31st, 2014, the order book represented â‚¬6.0 million, including six systems as well as various orders for services, cells and accessories (â‚¬1.9 million). Year-on-year, levels are down -15 percent, compared with -31 percent at end-June 2014.
Riber is confirming its forecast for a full-year net loss of over â‚¬3 million for 2014. Thanks to the upturn in orders during the second half of the year, as well as the deliveries made over this period and the effective cash management approach implemented, the consolidated net cash position at end 2014 is positive, coming in at nearly â‚¬2.0 million, an improvement compared with the end of 2013 (â‚¬1.7 million) and the low from June 2014 (-â‚¬0.9 million).
Frédérick Goutard, chairman of the executive board said: "Thanks to the significant progress made over the past year in terms of diversifying products, developing services, ensuring effective control over costs and delivery times, against a backdrop of expected growth in semiconductor research programs, Riber is confident that its performance levels will pick up again in 2015 and it will be able to achieve its strategic objectives for profitable growth over the medium term".