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PCB | February 16, 2005

Aspocomp to expand Chinese ops

Finnish based Aspocomp's subsidiary, ACP Electronics (ACPE) in Suzhou China, has made a decision to expand its business operations by building a new PCB plant.
The production unit is the Suzhou plant's third and its production is estimated to start in summer of 2006 and reach full capacity utilization by the end of year 2006. The unit is estimated to employ approximately 500 personnel. The already existing infrastructure of the Suzhou plant will be used to our advantage when building the new unit, which will make the project cost-efficient.

The estimated cost of the investment is approximately EUR 40 million. It has been planned that the project will be funded by ACPE's liquid funds, the company's cash flow, local sources of financing and owner financing. The other main owner of ACPE is the listed Taiwanese PCB company, Chin-Poon. It is estimated that final investment decisions will be made by the end of the year 2005.

The production unit will be realized using technology and process solutions that enable flexible production and deliveries according to the needs of chosen customer segments. The investment is part of the global growth strategy, according to which Aspocomp is concentrating on solidifying its position in PCBs supplied to hand held devices, telecommunications and automotive industry applications.

In autumn 2004, Aspocomp released a growth strategy according to which the
company will, in the medium term, grow at a pace clearly faster than that of the market in its core businesses: the PCB and module industries. The company's goal is to use growth and development projects to improve its profitability and return on equity (ROE) while maintaining a sufficiently solid financial position.

"The decision to expand ACPE has been made together with our Taiwanese partner and it is a logical step in the implementation of our strategy. This project is important to us as it significantly reinforces our ability to service our global customers. High-tech products, production flexibility, a good delivery capacity, and a competitive level of costs are combined in this project," says Aspocomp's CEO Maija-Liisa Friman.

PCB production was launched at the Suzhou plant in 2000. Aspocomp became ACPE's majority owner in January 2001. Over the last few years, the company's business operations have seen a rapid growth. In 2003, the second unit producing high-tech HDI PCBs was inaugurated; this unit was then expanded in the summer of 2004. ACPE's net sales for 2004 were just over EUR 40 million and the result positive. The company employs approximately 1,100 personnel.

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