10 March 2010


Aixtron reports 2009 revenue up 10% to a record €302.9m

After reporting preliminary results for fourth-quarter 2009 on 3 February, deposition equipment maker Aixtron AG of Aachen-Herzogenrath, Germany has now reported final revenue of €117.9m (up 43% on €82m both in Q3/2009 and a year ago).

This takes full-year 2009 revenue to a record €302.9m (up 10% on 2008’s €274.4m, and the firm’s first ever annual revenue above €300m). This is also well above the guidance of €280m (which had already been raised in late October from initial guidance of €200–220m).

The record annual revenue has been achieved despite the global recession, which had a particularly negative influence on Q1/2009. However, since Q1’s low of €46.2m, revenues have increased quarter-on-quarter, to €56.7m in Q2 and €82.0m in Q3 then €117.9m in Q4).

Gross margin has risen from 43% a year ago and 42% in Q3/2009 to 47% in Q4, boosting full-year gross margin from 41% in 2008 to 44% in 2009.

Reflecting the operating leverage effect from increased volumes, a more favorable average $/€ exchange rate and strong operating income, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in Q4/2009 was €33.7m (a margin of 29% of revenue), doubling from Q3’s €16.7m (20% margin) and more than quadrupling from €7.4m (9% margin) a year ago. Full-year 2009 EBIT was €62.7m (21% margin), almost doubling from €32.5m (12% margin) in 2008.

Net profit in Q4/2009 was €24.4m, more than double Q3’s €11.6m and up from €4.1m a year ago. Full-year net profit almost doubled from 2008’s €23m to €44.8m (15% of sales).

“After a very difficult start to the year, caused by fiscal uncertainty and recessionary fears at that time, fiscal year 2009 has turned out to be one of the best years in the company’s history,” comments president & CEO Paul Hyland. “The forward-looking decisions we made more than five years ago — namely to re-engineer our system technology into configurable modules and the decision to re-engineer our manufacturing processes and supply chain structure — have played a decisive part in our ability to react quickly and profitably to the rapid and positive changes in 2009 market conditions,” he adds.

Q4 equipment order intake was a record €163.3m, up 39% on Q3’s record €117.6m (following sequential increases from Q2’s €57.8m and Q1’s low of €31.2m) and more than quadruple €40.6m a year ago. Record full-year order intake of €370.1m is up 48% on €250.8m in 2008 (during which revenue, in contrast, fell from quarter to quarter).

During 2009, equipment order backlog hence almost doubled from €105m a year ago to a record €203.8m. After revaluation at $1.50/€ as of 1 January 2010, this is still a ‘very solid’ €190.9m (all shippable in 2010).

On this basis, Aixtron’s management believes that, for full-year 2010, revenue will roughly double to €600–650m and EBIT margin will rise to at least 25%.

“Looking into 2010 and beyond, we will, once again, make the necessary forward-looking investment decisions to ensure that we have the appropriate new technology and infrastructure in place to ensure that Aixtron remains the leading player in this marketplace during a period of projected growth,” Hyland says.

The management board and supervisory board of Aixtron AG is propose to its shareholders in the general meeting on 18 May to convert its legal form from a German AG (Aktiengesellschaft) to a European Company (Societas Europaea, SE) with the name Aixtron SE. The firm will continue to have its registered office in Herzogenrath.

“The decision to convert Aixtron AG into an SE structure is motivated by the increasingly international nature of our business and the potential flexibility that can comes with a SE conversion,” comments Hyland.

See related items:

Aixtron’s 2009 results to far exceed guidance with record revenue and profit

Aixtron’s 45% quarterly growth driven by TV backlighting

Aixtron lifts sales guidance on LED market recovery

Aixtron sales fall 44% in Q1/2009

Aixtron’s growth in Q4/2008 driven by Asian LED manufacturing

See: Aixtron Company Profile

Search: Aixtron