LONDON — IQE plc, which supplies semiconductor wafer products and services to the semiconductor industry, says it experienced a strong second half recovery following the industry-wide destocking that adversely impacted the first six months of 2009.
As a result, IQE expects to report full year 2009 results in line with market expectations, despite the adverse currency impact of sterling strengthening against the US dollar in the second half.
Second half revenues are expected to be 45 percent higher than first half. With the benefit of high operational gearing and stringent cost controls, IQE expects to report more than a threefold increase in second half EBITDA from £1.9 million (about $3.1 million) in the first half, to deliver a full year EBITDA of approximately £8 million (about $13 million).
Net debt is expected to be significantly better than market expectations at approximately £15 million (about $25 million)- a reduction of approximately £4 million (about $6.6 million) since June 2009.
IQE's strong second half performance reflects increasing demand for Gallium Arsenide wafers in the wireless communications market, as well as a diverse range of high growth opto electronics markets.
IQE says the growth in wireless is being driven by a structural shift as GaAs-rich smartphones enjoy a rapid increase in popularity, and emerging economies such as the BRIC nations roll out 3G networks to satisfy increasing demand for high-speed mobile internet and data services.
The growth in optoelectronics is being driven by a diverse range of factors. Demand for solar cells and solid state lighting is growing in response to regulatory and environmental pressures. In contrast, consumer and industrial demand is driving growth in a number of applications including 'hands free' gaming, laser projection, high speed data communications (broadband), and advanced optical storage.
“We are making good progress in developing and commercialising key intellectual property that will provide a competitive advantage and secure leading positions in a number of emerging high-growth markets including solar power, laser projection systems and solid state lighting,” said Dr Drew Nelson, IQE's Chief Executive.
“The Board remains confident that IQE is well positioned to achieve continued growth in sales, profits and cash flow in 2010.”
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