Passive component group Epcos claims to have seen a revival in orders during the July-September quarter.
The company, which published full-year results last week, says fiscal Q4 orders were up 37% sequentially at €209m.
Gerhard Pegam, president and CEO, added: "Now that inventory adjustments have been largely completed and production figures for mobile phones are again rising, this positive trend continues."
Epcos believes the 2002 calendar year will see a 35% rise in the number of components supplied for mobile phones to 420 million from an estimated 310 million for 2001.
But it warned average selling prices for surface acoustic wave (SAW) and ceramic components are still taking a beating.
"Large-scale inventory adjustments led to a marked decline in sales, which continued into [fiscal] Q4 of 2001," Pegam said. "The excess capacity created worldwide triggered off rapid price erosion."
In its fiscal Q4, only SAW components had a sequential rise in sales: 4%. Compared with Q3, sales of capacitors were down 23%, ceramics were down 22% and ferrites were down 39%.
Epcos is also concerned that other business segments are now starting to suffer. "Whereas demand is reviving in mobile phones, there are signs of a sustained downturn in automotive and industrial markets," Pegam said. "Business in the consumer electronics market remains weak."
Epcos claims to be pulling away from Matsushita, which it was equal second with only a year ago, in sales volumes, and is closing the gap with Murata.
In the year to March 2001, it claims to have sold €2.1bn worth of components. Market leader Murata sold €2.8bn over the same period and third-placed Matushita sold €1.8bn.
Epcos was formerly Siemens Matsushita Components and both industrial groups still hold stakes of just over 12.5% in the company.