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Business briefs

13 Aug 2004

Including news from Lumenis, Avanex, Cree, APA Optics and more.

General company news:

•  Cree, the US maker of LEDs, is expanding its manufacturing and R&D operations near its headquarters in North Carolina, US. The expansion involves purchasing $300 million of equipment and creating at least 300 new jobs over the next 5 years.

•  Japanese giant Kyocera is about to start manufacturing what it claims is the world's most efficient (15.7%) multicrystal solar cell module in commercial production. The conglomerate says that the cell's high efficiency is due to improvements in silicon wafer quality and development of a low resistance electrode structure. Products will become available in Japan and overseas from the next financial year.

•  Avanex, the supplier of optical modules and subsystems for telecom networks, has named Jo Major as its new CEO. Major takes over from Walter Alessandrini who will continue as chairman of the firm's board of directors. Major is a 15-year veteran of the optical communications industry and joins Avanex from his role as senior vice-president of JDS Uniphase's components business group.

•  US based Nanopto has secured an additional $3.3 million in B-round Venture funding. The firm claims that its nano-fabrication technology produces miniature, superior versions of optical components "The additional financing will enable NanoOpto to move from product development and initial commercialization into full production," commented CEO Barry Weinbaum.

Financial results:

•  SpatiaLight, the Californian developer of liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) microdisplays, has reported a revenue of $0.54 million and a net loss of $2.3 million for the three months ended June 30. Last month, the firm signed a agreement to supply LG Electronics of Korea with LCoS modules in the second half of 2005.

•  Lumenis, the Israeli medical laser specialist, has recorded a revenue of $70.3 million and net earnings of $1.1 million for its second quarter ended June 30. In contrast, for the same period last year the firm announced a net loss of $33.3 million. "The second quarter results are encouraging as they continue to reflect the benefits of our new organization," commented Avner Raz, the firm's CEO.

•  Lightpath, the US manufacturer of precision molded aspheric optics, has announced a 22% ($1.5 million) increase in revenue for fiscal year 2004. The company says that moves to reduce its dependence on the telecoms markets has helped improve financial results. Growth areas for the firm now include industrial lasers and lens markets, medical products and defence.

•  APA Optics reports record revenue of $3.7 million for first quarter of 2005 fiscal year. Up 135% on figures posted for the same period last year, the US firm attributes the increase to higher revenues at APA Cable and Networks due to its acquisition of Americable. The loss from operations was $0.9 million for the first quarter, down 41% from the previous year. The company says the reduction is due in part to the sale of the company's optical component manufacturing activities in April 2004.

CeNing Optics Co LtdCHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.Hyperion OpticsAlluxaJenLab GmbHIDS Imaging Development SystemsTRIOPTICS GmbH
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