MUNICH, Germany In the first quarter of the current year, board computer manufacturer Kontron AG (Eching, Germany) continued its upward trend. Despite the crisis, the company raised its sales in comparison to the same quarter last year. Design wins climbed to an all-time high for the company.
Design wins (117 million, about $153 million) and order entry (123 million) exceeded sales which at 107 million still were slightly higher than a year ago. During Q1, order backlog climbed from 291 million to 306 million.
The company associates the high design win figure, 56 percent above last year's level, to the continuing outsourcing trend among its customers. However, the trend was not homogeneous across the company's customer spectrum. While sales towards customers from industry automation and gambling declined, demand from industry branches related to infrastructure such as energy, telecommunications and government more than offset the downturn in the first group, the company says.
Nevertheless the company did not get away completely unaffected. The crisis forced the company to speed up the displacement of parts of its production based in Europe and the U.S. to Penang (Malaysia) where Kontron already manufactures 60 percent of its production volume. Restructuring costs associated to the relocation dragged down the profit. Thus, operating profit declined 20 percent to 7 million.
The company said it would not rule out acquisitions, if the crisis offers particular chances for takeovers.
Kontron bucks industry downtrend