Tool Order: Amtech to ship PECVD tools for Mission Solar’s planned capacity expansion

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PV equipment specialist, Amtech Systems, has secured a follow-on order with US-based PV manufacturer, Mission Solar, in a multi-million dollar deal said to be in the low teens.

The deal includes equipment from its Tempress Systems subsidiary and includes PECVD tools. 

Fokko Pentinga, chief executive of Amtech, said: “We are pleased to announce this repeat order for our world class production systems. The order includes our PECVD system, an important strategic product we developed during the solar down cycle to aggressively support the solar growth opportunity during the next recovery cycle and provides us the opportunity to double the size of our served available market. Our ongoing objective is to bring technology solutions to the market to increase cell efficiency at lower cost.”  

Mission Solar is currently planning to expand production of its N-type monocystalline cell and module plant from 100MW to 200MW in 2015. 

Financial results

Amtech also announced fiscal fourth quarter and full-year results indicating the bottom of revenue levels after three years of limited capital expenditure from PV manufacturers. 

The company reported net fourth quarter revenue of US$19.8 million with solar segment revenue of US$12.8 million, up 186% from a year ago. The company had reported fiscal third-quarter revenue of only US$9.2 million and US$6.9 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Net loss for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 was US$3.2 million.

Total customer orders were US$11.2 million in the fourth quarter with US$4.9 million of orders in its solar segment, an increase of 34% compared to total orders of US$8.4 million and US$0.1 million from its solar segment in the same period a year ago.    

At 30 September 2014, Amtech’s total order backlog was US$28.5 million, including US$20.9 million in solar segment orders and deferred revenue. 

“We have seen some strengthening in the solar market which resulted in improved year-over-year bookings growth and a lower loss per share, and expect to participate in fiscal 2015 in selective capacity expansion opportunities given our superior technologies and products,” added Pentinga.  “In October, we announced our intent to acquire BTU International. The combination of our two businesses expands our technology portfolio in adjacent sectors within the thermal processing equipment industry. Plus, we look for our combined businesses to deliver consistent cash flow to support the ongoing investment in our solar technology solutions and products and Amtech's long-term solar growth opportunity.”

Full-year fiscal 2014 results included revenue of US$56.5 million, which includes US$27.6 million solar segment revenue, up 62% from a year ago.

Shipments were US$63.5 million of which US$32.9 million were related to its solar segment, up 138% from a year ago.

Bookings were US$61.3 million with US$33.9 million for its solar segment, up 41% from a year ago.

Amtech reported a net loss of US$13.0 million for fiscal 2014, compared to a net loss of US$20.1 million in the previous year. 

“As we look forward into 2015, we are not able as yet to see clearly the anticipated recovery that all market participants are expecting. However, we expect there will be an improvement in selective technology and capacity expansion opportunities and we intend to fully participate in those opportunities,” added Pentinga in an earnings call.

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