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24 October 2006


Veeco boosted by HB-LED/wireless markets

Veeco Instruments Inc of Woodbury, NY, USA, which makes metrology tools and process equipment including MOCVD and MBE reactors, has reported third-quarter 2006 revenues of $112.4m (up 12% on a year ago, but roughly
equal to Q2/2006's $111.6m and down on $125-130m forecast in July).

Revenues comprised: 40% for data storage, 14% for semiconductors, 25% for high-brightness light emitting diodes (HB-LEDs)/wireless, and 21% for scientific research; and 36% to North America, 44% to Asia-Pacific, 13% to
Europe, and 7% to Japan.

"Third quarter results were impacted by the slowdown of our data storage customers' production ramps, causing shipment delays from the third to fourth quarter," says chairman and CEO Edward H. Braun.

Nevertheless, earnings before interest, taxes, amortization, excluding certain charges (EBITA) rose 23% to $10.2m, operating income rose from $4.2m to $5m, and net income rose from $1.6m to $4.5m.

For the first nine months of 2006, revenue rose just 7% on a year ago to $317.9m. However, this included revenues from the HB-LED/wireless market up 34%, "as new consumer HB-LED applications emerge", says Braun. Total
operating income rose dramatically from $4.4m to $12.2m and EBITA from $16.9m to $25.4. Net income was $7.3m, compared to a net loss of $3.6m a year ago.

In Q3/2006, orders were $114.8m. This is at the low end of quarterly guidance, but still up 36%, including 99% growth for HB-LED/wireless. For Q4/2006, Veeco expects revenues of $120-124m and bookings of $115m (plus or minus 5%).

"Our R&D efforts are bringing exciting new technologies including Veeco's new physical vapor deposition (PVD) and atomic layer deposition (ALD) equipment for the data storage market, next-generation metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) for the HB-LED growth opportunity, and new metrology products in semiconductor, scientific research and life sciences," adds Braun.