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2 April 2015

Riber reports €3.8m loss for 2014 on sales down 29%

After reporting revenue for full-year 2014 in late January, Riber S.A. of Bezons, France, which manufactures molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) systems as well as evaporation sources and effusion cells, has now reported its full earnings figures. 

Revenue was €16.6m for 2014, down 29% on 2013's €23.5m due to a significant deterioration in the market.

Of this, MBE systems revenue was €9.3m, down 45% on 2013's €16.9m, due primarily to the contraction in research budgets available during first-half 2014. In second-half 2014, Riber recorded €5.8m of orders and €7.2m of billing for the systems business. In total, 11 MBE systems were billed to research customers (down from 17 in 2013).

Revenues from services & accessories (€6.1m, up 17% on €5.3m) and cells & sources (€1.1m, down 17% on €1.3m) are collectively up 10% on 2013. Growth in sales to research laboratories is benefiting from the development of business in refurbishing systems. Alongside this, Riber has continued moving forward with its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) development plan, with pilot linear cells sold in Korea during the second half of the year.

Faced with the contraction in revenues and challenging market conditions, gross profit has halved from €7.5m in 2013 to €3.8m in 2014, representing gross margin of 22.6% of revenue (down from 32.2% in 2013).

Sales & administrative costs are down 11% year-on-year, factoring in the savings measures rolled out by the firm at the beginning of 2013 to reduce its fixed costs. Alongside this, in order to support its development, Riber maintained a high level of R&D investment in 2014. In this context, net income showed a loss of €3.8m for 2014, compared with a €0.2m profit in 2013.

"Whilst our results for the year were affected by the marked contraction in MBE markets, Riber significantly improved its cash position at the end of 2014 [nearly €2m, an improvement on €1.7m at the end of 2013 and the low of -€0.9m at the end of June 2014] thanks to its rigorous operational management," says Frédérick Goutard, chairman of the executive board.

Riber says that, in a difficult environment marked by persistently sluggish industrial markets, it has strengthened its commercial actions in the research sector, its traditional core business and the most resilient segment, while ramping up its services & accessories sales business.

"Our orders picked up again during the second half of the year, which is encouraging: this confirms the upturn in demand for research, Riber's main customer base," says Goutard. "Our development strategy is positioning us to capitalize on the markets' expected recovery: in 2015, the acquisition of MBE Control Solutions [of Santa Barbara, CA, USA] will further strengthen our market share in the USA, and our continued diversification into OLEDs will also drive us forward as we return to growth," he adds.

See related items:

Riber acquires MBE Control Solutions

Riber's revenue falls 29% in 2014 to €16.6m

Riber sees 44% revenue growth in Q3, driven by research MBE systems

Riber's first-half revenue down 39% year-on-year to €4.8m

Riber makes profit in 2013 despite revenue falling 14%

Tags: Riber MBE

Visit: www.riber.com

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