© AT&S (illustration purpose only) PCB | June 26, 2020
PCB industry: 1Q/2020 overshadowed by corona pandemic
After a significant drop in sales at the end of last year, PCB manufacturers in the Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH) region recorded a sales growth of 16.1 percent in the first quarter of 2020.
Compared to the first quarter of 2019, however, the industry has to deal with a minus of 7.5 percent, reports the ZVEI association PCB and Electronic Systems. The months of January and February 2020 had the worst results for years. Even a slight increase in sales in March could only marginally mitigate this result. Order intake also increased with 14 percent sequentially. At the end of 2019, a noticeable drop was recorded. Compared to the first quarter of 2019, order intake rose by twelve percent. Here, the PCB manufacturers in the DACH region benefitted from orders coming back from China. These could not be delivered due to the outbreak in China and production had to run elsewhere. In February, the order intake was unusually high, which suggests that orders have been placed in view of the uncertain further development of the corona pandemic. From mid-March, business largely came to a standstill due to global restrictions. The book-to-bill ratio reached a value of 1.05. But this high value is deceptive, because it is questionable whether and when the orders placed in the first quarter can be delivered. The number of employees in the industry decreased by four percent overall in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter of the previous year.