Amtech post record revenues FY2011: guides losses as push-outs and capacity expansions slow

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Specialist PV equipment supplier,Amtech Systems posted record revenue of US$247 million for its 2011 financial year, more than double the previous year. Fourth quarter revenue was reported at US$59.9 million, up 32% from the prior year fourth quarter. Order backlog stood at US$85.9 million of which US$71.2 million was from the solar segment. However, bookings in the fourth quarter slowed to only US$4.7 million for solar with total bookings in the quarter standing at US$16.8 million.

Amtech noted that a slow down in PV manufacturer’s capacity expansion plans had started and had also experienced order push-outs. The company guided revenue for its first quarter FY2012 to be in the range of US$21-US$23 million.  The significantly lower revenue volume and a planned increase in its research and development spending would result in the company recording a loss for the next quarter.

The company is streamlining operations to match the slowdown in PV capital spending and said that it had already reduced its headcount by over 20% in the quarter.

J.S. Whang, Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented: “We are pleased to report record revenue and profitability for fiscal year 2011.  Our global team delivered very positive year-over-year progress reflecting the value of our diversified products and solutions for both solar and semiconductor customers.  Although total bookings were up sequentially from our June 30 quarter, solar orders were down primarily as a result of industry-wide oversupply and continuing macroeconomic headwinds.  We have already reduced our labor force by 21% since peaking in the quarter ended June 30, 2011.”

Amtech is to continue to invest in its product portfolio for the next high-efficiency focused PV industry cycle, according to management comments in a conference call with analysts.

The company also said that it would be launching at SNEC in Shanghai next year its new ion implant tool and later in the year it would be launching a new solar cell diffusion tool as well as other products to expand its solar product offering.
 

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