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© alphaspirit-dreamstime.com Electronics Production | March 24, 2014

LDS keeps driving LPKF

LPKF looks back at a successful 2013. The Lower-Saxony-based Group boosted revenue year on year by 13 percent, from EUR 115.1 million to EUR 129.7 million.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), were also higher than the previous year’s figure of EUR 20.4 million and landed at EUR 23.2 million. This represents an increase of 14 percent. The EBIT margin was 17.9 percent, remaining at a very high level for the industry. This means that the LPKF Group fully met its targets for 2013, both in terms of revenue and EBIT. Growth in 2013 was mainly driven by the very strong business with systems for laser direct structuring (LDS). South Korea played an important role in this context. Demand in South Korea increased sharply in 2013 following the recent decision made by major electronics firms in that country to deploy LDS technology. “Almost all of the leading smartphone manufacturers worldwide now use LDS technology made in Lower Saxony,” said Dr. Ingo Bretthauer, Chief Executive Officer of LPKF. Rapid prototyping and plastic welding also performed well and contributed to revenue growth. Revenue in the solar business declined in 2013 - as expected - because a major order placed in 2011 was completed according to schedule. A new order worth EUR 15 million that was received in the first quarter of 2014 is a positive sign for LPKF’s solar business. Orders on hand at year’s end amounted to EUR 17.7 million, which is significantly lower than the prior-year figure of EUR 34.3 million. In the previous year, the level of orders on hand was relatively high at year’s end on account of several large orders. At EUR 113.1 million, the volume of incoming orders was almost comparable to that of the previous year (EUR 124.1 million). Despite a rather muted beginning of the current financial year, LPKF is optimistic about the future. The trend towards miniaturization and func-tional integration in electronic devices regularly offers new applications for the laser as a high-precision tool, and laser technology is developing rapidly. In the financial year ended, LPKF again invested about 10 percent of its revenue in the development of new laser technologies. On the whole, the Management Board confirms its forecast and expects the LPKF Group to generate revenue of EUR 132 million to EUR 140 million for 2014, assuming stable performance by the global economy. The EBIT margin should be between 15 percent and 17 percent in 2014. Given a stable economic environment in both 2015 and 2016, the Management Board expects revenue to grow by an average of approximately 10 percent per year and the EBIT margin to come in between 15 percent and 17 percent.
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