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PCB | November 04, 2004

Aspocomp, sales increased Q3

Aspocomp's third quarter net sales increased compared to the corresponding period in the previous year and were EUR 52.2 million (48.6). Net sales during January-September 2004 rose to EUR 152.7 million (131.8).
Aspocomp's Chinese subsidiary ACP Electronics and the Mechanics and Modules segment achieved strong growth. The net sales of the Finnish PCB plants and the Thai subsidiary P.C.B. Center remained at the 2003 levels.

Operating profit increased to EUR 4.0 million (0.7). The higher operating profit was attributable to the improved profitability of the PCB segment, but the Mechanics and Modules segment also achieved clearly better results than during the same quarter in the previous year. Profit before tax increased to EUR 3.5 million (0.4).

Maija Liisa Friman, President and CEO of Aspocomp, commented: "The healthy demand for Aspocomp's products continued in the third quarter. The most solid growth was experienced in the HDI boards manufacturing line of the Chinese ACP Electronics. The share of high-tech PCBs of the PCB segment's net sales increased to 61% in the third quarter.

During the current year, the sales of the Mechanics and Modules segment have grown at a very fast pace: during the last quarter, the growth was as much as 32%. However, the demand will slow down in the short run which will curb Aspocomp's growth during the rest of the year and early in the new year. The decline in demand is because the high volume product of the Oulu plant, which is aimed at the telecommunications market, is approaching the final phase of its life cycle. An equivalent product, based on new technology is under development.

In the short term, Aspocomp continues to improve the operational efficiency of Salo plant. This will be achieved by optimizing and upgrading the plant's manufacturing processes to respond to the rapid pace of technological changes required by new products.

In the medium term, Aspocomp intends to grow significantly faster than the PCB industry in average. In the PCB industry, we aim to strengthen our market share and to balance our position in PCBs supplied to the mobile devices, telecommunications and automotive industries. Our other core business comprises modules where we intend to use our new module technologies to cover more of the needs of the electronics manufacturing value chain. The new technologies based on our solid expertise allow customers to pack more performance into a smaller space in their end products.

Our strong balance sheet and cash flow allow significant growth and development projects in our core businesses that are aimed at further increasing the return on equity and enhancing shareholder value while maintaining a solid financial standing."

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