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news digest ♦ Equipment and Materials


and maintain uniformity in etch profiles and critical dimensions. Brooks says the combination of these features allows the GF135 to deliver exceptional accuracy and cost savings to the semiconductor industry.


In addition, Brooks will demo its GF81 mass flow controller, the new high-flow version of the GF80. The GF81 is the mass flow controller of choice for process engineers in solar, coatings and industrial thin-film applications.


The GF81 offers flow rates up to 300 slpm, as well as a high- purity flow path. Unlike other high-flow mass flow controllers, it has a smaller footprint and offers the broadest range of communication protocols. Brook says the GF81 also provides market-leading process gas accuracy, delivering higher accuracy than competitive high-flow, non multi-gas/multi-range devices.


Aixtron seeing weak order visibility despite rising utilisation rates


The MOCVD tool maker says it experienced its highest 2012 order Intake and revenues recorded in Q4/2012. Management will now focus on cost control and cash flow and continuing R&D investments will be used to fund future market opportunities


Aixtron SE, a provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, has announced revenues of EUR (€)227.8 million and an EBIT loss of €-132.3m for the fiscal year 2012.


The firm also reported its Q4/2012 results which are depicted in the graph below.


Total order intake in 2012 was €131.4m, 74 percent down compared to 2011 (€513.4 million) although H2/2012 orders were c. 14 percent higher than H1/2012.


The year-end order backlog stood at €79.4 million on December 31st, 2012; 44 percent lower than at the same time in 2011 (December 31st, 2011: €141.0 million). One third of this percentage point reduction came from the €19 million order backlog adjustment made in Q3/2012.


The second half order intake development that became clearer in Q3/2012 did not constitute the expected second half market recovery and was catalyst for a thorough internal review into the immediate outlook. The management conclusion, announced in October 2012, was that the opening year objective of remaining EBIT profitable in 2012 was not achievable.


The accompanying risk assessment that was conducted as part of this business review also concluded that the likelihood of ongoing subdued demand necessitated the reduction in value of certain work in progress assemblies, components and spare parts. As a result, the company executed a significant write- down of inventories in Q3/12.


A slow recovery of revenues, but a virtually flat order intake throughout the year reflects a reluctant investment attitude by customers and a continuation of macroeconomic uncertainty.


Despite an improving market consensus on the potential outlook for the back end of 2013, management is unable at this stage to offer a precise revenue and EBIT margin guidance for the year, due to the prevailing low visibility.


Financial Highlights 126 www.compoundsemiconductor.net March 2013


The subdued business environment, evident throughout the year 2012, had the consequent effect on Aixtron’s 2012 earnings. Gross profit declined to €400 thousand (2011: €231.4million) and EBIT turned negative to €-132.3 million (2011: €112.9 million). The company continues to implement cost reduction measures which include both efficiency improvements and cost reductions measures throughout the organisation.


The 2012 net result of €-145.4 million, was considerably down from the €79.5 million recorded in 2011 and resulted in a basic loss per share of €-1.44 (2011: earnings of €0.79).


Appropriation of Net Loss


Throughout fiscal year 2012, Aixtron customers remained hesitant in adding significant LED manufacturing capacity, despite increasingly high utilisation rates at some mainline Asian manufacturers.


Aixtron recorded revenues of €227.8 million for the full year 2012, which although nearly €8 million higher than the Q3 forecast for the full year, still represents a decrease of €383.2 million, or 63 percent, compared to €611.0 million in 2011. H2/2012 revenues were however about 58 percent higher than H1/2012.


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