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11 August 2006


Aviza’s sales rise 20% in June quarter; Tegal up 116% year-on-year

Plasma etch and deposition system makers Tegal Corp of San Jose, CA, USA and Aviza Technology Inc of Scotts Valley, CA, USA have both reported revenue growth for the June quarter of 2006.

For its fiscal first-quarter 2007 (to end-June), Tegal has reported revenues of $6.6m, up 9% on last-quarter 2006’s $6.1m and 116% on $3.1m a year ago. Shipments included several 901ACS etch tools to “a leading US-based wireless component supplier undergoing a significant capacity expansion”.

Net loss was cut from $2.5m a year ago and $2.3m last quarter to $1.8m. Operating loss was cut from $2.4m both a year ago and last quarter (which included $0.4m and $0.3m of non-cash charges, respectively) to $1.8m (including $0.5m of non-cash charges). Litigation expenses amounted to $0.7m. Gross margins rose from 22% a year ago and 20% last quarter to 38%. Cash and equivalents fell from $13.8m at the end of the March quarter to $12.6m at the end of June. Tegal's order backlog at the end of June was $6.1m.

"Our first quarter gross margin resulted principally from product mix, and we are clearly making progress towards our goal of achieving sustainable 40% plus margins for our business,” said Thomas Mika, president and chief executive officer. “Operating expenses were again affected by the costs associated with subsidiary Sputtered Films Inc's litigation against AMS, Agilent and Avago Technologies [for damages in excess of $100m],” Mika adds. “We are now in the final pre-trial stages for this litigation, with a firm trial date set for 7 November [in the Superior Court of Santa Barbara, California]."

For its fiscal third-quarter 2006 (to end June), Aviza Technology has reported revenues of $43.7m. This is roughly equal to $43.8m a year ago but up 20.5% on the previous quarter’s $36.2m, due mainly to increased sales to the Asia-Pacific region. Gross margin was 24.6%, down from 25.4% the previous quarter but up from 15.6% a year ago.

During fiscal Q3/2006, Aviza shipped its Celsior next-generation single-wafer atomic layer deposition (ALD) system to multiple high-volume manufacturing sites in Taiwan, China and Europe, including China's leading IC foundry, Taiwan’s Inotera Memories Inc (for 90nm and below DRAM chip production), and "one of the world's largest DRAM suppliers" for 90nm production.

For fiscal Q4/2006 (to end September), Aviza expects revenues of $45-50m, and stock-based compensation expense of $420,000-450,000. The fiscal 2006 forecast (updated in mid-May) remains for revenue of $155-160m, with gross margin of 24-26%, R&D expenses of 14-16%, and sales, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses of 15-17% of revenues.

In fiscal Q3/2006, net loss was cut from $6.0m a year ago and $5.3m the prior quarter to $4.0m (including stock-based compensation expense of $61,000). Based on anticipated acceptances of Celsior systems, Aviza expects to report an operating profit in fiscal Q1/2007 (to end December), says president and CEO Jerry Cutini.

Cash and cash equivalents grew from $3.9m at end-March to $17.9m at end-June, after a private placement of 3,282,275 shares of common stock with Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) in April for $15m.

Visit Tegal: http://www.tegal.com

Visit Aviza: http://www.avizatechnology.com