MUNICH, Germany Driven by strong demand for LEDs, semiconductor equipment vendor Aixtron AG (Aachen, Germany) has exceeded market expectations in Q3. The company raised its outlook and announced a capital increase to fund future growth.
For the second time in the year, Aixtron raised its expectations for FY 2009. The company now believes that FY2009 sales could hit 280 million euros (about $411 million) after earlier estimates of 230 through 250 million euros. Expectations for the EBIT margin have also been corrected to the upside from 12 percent to 18 percent.
Aixtron's Q3 sales hiked 28 percent against the same quarter last year to 82 million euros. Operating profit more than doubled to 16.7 million euros while the ebit margin rose from 12 percent to 20 percent.
Sales in the quarter as well as in the past nine months have been driven mostly by LED backlight applications for computer monitors and TV sets. The demand remains "very healthy", explained Aixtron CEO Paul Hyland in a statement. The demand is driven by an "exceptionally positive customer response to the introduction of TV LED backlight," he said.
The order intake of 210 million euros nevertheless was 2 percent lower than last year's comparable figure, however, in contrast to last year, with a rising tendency.
Against this background, the company announced a capital increase. It plans to issue almost 9 million shares or 9.8 percent of its current share capital. The proceeds will be used to fund the further growth of the company including higher capital spending.
Aixtron holds a market share of about 70 percent for MOCVD (Metal Oxide Chemical Vapor Deposition) semiconductor manufacturing front-end equipment. Its only significant competitor in this market niche is US-based Veeco Instruments.
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