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18 January 2007


Picogiga's sales fall due to weaker demand for RF applications

Soitec of Bernin, France, which manufactures silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers and other engineered substrates, has reported record sales of Euro99.6m for its third quarter fiscal 2006-2007, up 11.1% sequentially and 40.4% year-on-year (compared with 41.5% growth in Q2 and 67.1% in Q1). Q3's growth was driven by 300mm wafer sales up 63.5% year-on-year and 17.3% sequentially. For Q1-Q3, sales were Euro274.9m, up 48.1% year-on-year.

Soitec's Picogiga International division, which supplies MBE-grown composite substrates such as GaN-on-silicon, had sales of Euro2.7m and Euro2.6m in Q1 and Q2, respectively (with Q1-Q2's Euro5.3m up 57% year-on-year, mainly due
to its traditional market for RF applications). However, Q3 sales dropped to Euro1.7m (giving 9-month cumulative growth of 17.5% year-on-year), due to softness in RF markets.

Because of the anticipated weaker demand in Picogiga's traditional markets and recent uncertainties related to the customer inventory chain in the game consoles market, in the light of short-term market considerations Soitec
says it has a cautious stance and now anticipates total Q4 revenues in line with Q3.

A good manufacturing performance for SOI despite the volume adjustment in Q4 is likely to be offset by the unfavorable exchange climate and weaker traditional Picogiga activity. However, Soitec stresses that Picogiga
continues its involvement in strategic R&D initiatives to develop new III-V products as well as materials for solid-state lightning. Strategic R&D programs, including official grant approval negotiations, are proceeding satisfactorily as planned, the company says.

Full-year sales for 2006-2007 will be reported on 16 April 2007.