Sweden - Micronic Laser Systems ( http://www.micronic.com ), through its semi-annual report for January 1 - June 30, 2008, announced that an order intake for the first half of 2008 was SEK 96 million (97), of which SEK 46 million (38) was booked in the second quarter.
The order backlog at June 30, 2008, was SEK 296 million (178) and consisted solely of systems. At year-end 2007 the order backlog was SEK 332 million. Net sales for the first half of 2008 reached SEK 125 million (120), of which SEK 46 million (81) referred to the second quarter.
"Net sales for the period were on par with last year, reflecting a weak market situation that has continued during 2008. Our operating loss is lower than in the previous year as we now have net capitalization of development costs compared to last year`s net amortization" says Sven Löfquist, President and CEO of Micronic Laser Systems AB.
"The display industry remains strong. Last year we introduced the Prexision series of pattern generators which offer our customers a new generation of products that meet the industry`s needs for large photomask sizes and higher quality together with increased productivity, a combination that results in a considerably higher level of investment for our customers."
"Utilization of the existing fleet of pattern generators has reached a high level. Photomasks from the first Prexision-8 systems are on the market and needs are being built up for Prexision-10 format photomasks. On the whole, this means that we anticipate a recovery in the market for pattern generators."
"However, we should keep in mind that because the investment required for a Prexision series system is high, the decision-making process is tending to take longer than previously. We expect that when the first orders are placed the customers will be keen on taking delivery early, and we still have some capacity to execute during the second half of 2008," continues Sven Löfquist.
"The semiconductor market, which has been quite slow from a pattern generator perspective, is now showing signs of recovery. We are receiving inquiries about Sigma systems for capacity needs for the 65 nm design node and above and this is in line with our view of the semiconductor market."
"The industry is now employing other alternative strategies to reduce costs rather than solely moving to the next design node. Part of this strategy is to invest in highly productive laser pattern generators to drive down photomask costs. We are happy to be part of this strategy and we are able to deliver at relatively short notice," concludes Sven Löfquist.