Newport Corporation has continued to expand rapidly into the photovoltaics equipment market, now offering c-Si and thin film products that tap into its core technologies of lasers, motion control and optical systems. The company noted in a conference call with financial analysts to discuss fourth quarter and full-year results that orders to PV manufacturers had grown more than 150% in 2008, to reach US$33.6 million compared with orders of US$13.3 million in 2007.
Solar equipment sales totalled US$21.0 million in 2008, compared with US$9.3 million in 2007. Fourth quarter sales to PV manufacturers reached US$5.9 million, while orders received totalled US$3.2 million.
Robert Phillippy, President and CEO of Newport noted in the call that access to capital for some customers was proving harder to obtain and expected a pause in production expansions until the capital markets improved. However, he said that the underlying demand for solar energy remained strong, despite financial market conditions.