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17 January 2008


IQE expects 2007 sales up 65% year-on-year

In a trading update for 2007, substrate and epiwafer supplier IQE plc of Cardiff, UK says that it expects revenues of about $100m, up 65% in dollar terms on 2006 (which had been £32.4m in sterling). This is the third consecutive year of sequential revenue growth (averaging about 50% annually).

Trading in December was very strong following the qualification of products and tools with various customers across the group, resulting in record monthly revenue. These and additional qualifications currently in progress secure the foundation for significantly more production capacity in 2008, says IQE.

As a result of the good growth in revenue coupled with high operational gearing and tight cost control, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) continued to increase from first-half 2007 and is expected to be in line with market expectations, despite the adverse effect of the sterling/dollar exchange rate.

Sales of wireless products have been particularly strong as a consequence of the firm expanding its customer base, product portfolio and geographical reach during 2007.

In particular, the acquisitions made during 2006 ( the epiwafer foundries MBE Technology Pte Ltd of Singapore and IQE RF LLC of Somerset, NJ, USA, formerly Emcore’s Electronic Materials & Device division) have performed extremely well, reckons IQE. Most customers are focussed on products for the advanced upgrade smart phone market, WiFi (802.11n), WiMAX, GPS and other high-speed wireless markets, which have all continued to show strong growth.

IQE says that it has also made substantial progress in developing additional future high-volume products, including for advanced solar cells and solid-state lighting. The firm reckons that it has also established a leadership position in advanced materials combinations for ultra-high-speed integrated electronics applications.

IQE’s board says that it expects markets to remain strong, particularly those linked to high-speed wireless applications, as evidenced by the myriad of new and emerging applications at last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2008) in Las Vegas, NV, USA.

IQE expects to publish its preliminary results for 2007 in the week starting 17 March.

See related items:

AXT receives IQE GaAs order worth up to $18.6m

SI GaAs epi market to grow at 8% through 2011

IQE wins multi-year contract as preferred epi supplier to Anadigics

IQE’s revenues move ahead of first-half forecasts

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