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Business briefs

30 Apr 2007

Featuring news from Micronic, Hoya, Cymer, Laser Components, Ionatron, Toptica, Corning, OpVista and others.

•A new laser-optical center is to be created by Belarus and India in New Delhi to operate as part of India's defense industry. The two countries have also agreed to set up an IT center in the Belarus High Tech Park. The agreed program of co-operation emphasizes laser-optical technologies, nanotechnologies and metallurgy.

Micronic Laser Systems, a Swedish producer of laser pattern generators for photomasks, has released interim results for Q1 2007. Net sales were SEK58 million ($5.9 million), and the company reported a loss after tax of SEK78 million ($11.5 million), reflecting weak demand in the company's markets and a low order intake.

• Japanes company Hoya, which produces optical glass for liquid crystal displays and digital cameras, has reported results for fiscal year 2006 ending March 31 2007. Total revenue rose 13.3% to 390 billion yen ($3.26 million), while consolidated net sales, operating profit and net income all reached "historical records".

Cymer of San Diego, US, a suppler of deep ultraviolet laser sources for photolithography, has announced revenues of $126.7 million and gross profits of $61 million for the first quarter of 2007. The strongest contributions came from the company's ArF light sources in Korea, the US, and Taiwan. The company also announced a program to repurchase up to $300 million of the company's common stock in support of its medium- and long-term growth plans.

• Californian company JMAR has announced $750,000 in new financing from its financial partner Laurus Master Fund. JMAR is developing laser-based technology and X-ray processes for nano-scale imaging, analysis and fabrication.

Laser Components has acquired the remaining shares of Optophotonics SA, which becomes a wholly owned subsidiary and will change its name to Laser Components SAS. The new subsidiary will move to new premises in the south of Paris, and Christian Merry has been appointed general manager.

• Directed-energy weapons maker Ionatron has formed a laser group to develop advanced solid-state lasers for military, aerospace and security applications. The Ionatron Laser Group (ILG) will be based in St. Louis, Missouri. The company also announced the award of a $9.8 million contract from the US Navy to develop an advanced ultrashort pulse laser.

Quintessence Photonics of California, US, has been awarded two concurrent nine-month contracts worth a total of $1 million from the United States Navy to deliver high-energy laser engine prototypes. The prototypes will be used to develop naval aviation-directed energy weapons, and utilize semiconductor laser technologies to reduce the lasers' size and weight.

Toptica, Germany, has appointed Indeco as its distributor in Japan. Toptica products will be displayed for the first time at Indeco's booth at the Interopto show in Chiba, Japan, July 11 to 13, 2007.


• The market for optical networking components will grow from approximately $2.8 billion in 2007 to $7.9 billion in 2012. The rise in revenues is due to the expansion in optically addressable markets, the accelerating use of 10 GigE in corporate networks, and growing markets for passive-optical network lasers and tunable lasers. A report from CIR, Virginia, US, estimates that tunable lasers will be the fastest growing major segment of the components market, reaching almost one billion dollars by 2012.

• US firm OFS Speciality Photonics has added SEDI Fibre Ottiche to its distribution network. SEDI Fibre Ottiche will expand into new business opportunities primarily in the medical market segment. OFS will also continue to use FORT Fiber Ottiche of Bergamo, Italy.

Alliance Fiber Optic Products, a US producer of fiber-optic components and integrated modules, reported revenues for the first quarter of 2007 of $6.7 million, a rise of 28% over Q1 2006. The company predicts a further growth in revenue of 15% in the second quarter, and a continuing focus on operational efficiencies.

Corning will reopen a portion of its optical fiber manufacturing facility in Concord, NC, to support increased demand in the optical fiber markets. The company expects it will take approximately six to nine months to restart fiber manufacturing.


The University of Central Florida will honor Nobel Prize winner Charles Hard Townes, a pioneer of the laser, with the dedication of the new Townes Laser Institute on 4 May, and at a commencement ceremony on 5 May.

• The Fibre To The Home Council, the non-profit organization promoting FTTH solutions to the public, has appointed Joeri Van Bogaert of Leoni NBG Fiber Optics as president of the board. The Council has also extended a public call for candidates for the position of a full-time director general.

OpVista, California, has appointed Lawrence Williams to its advisory board. Williams is currently a managing director of the German cable operator PrimaCom Management, and has previously held senior positions at Motorola.

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