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QPC Lasers gathers momentum

22 May 2007

The latest results show substantial increases in revenues for the California-based laser supplier.

Any company able to post a 317% increase in revenues year-on-year can feel they're doing something right. QPC Lasers believes that their high-brightness, high-power laser diodes are rapidly finding their place in the market.

QPC posted results for Q1 2007 showing an increase in total revenue of 317% to $1.1 million compared to Q1 2006. Product revenue rose to $0.65 million, an increase of 178% compared to Q1 2006, and a 19% rise over Q4 2006.

These results rest on strong orders for the company's "Generation II" fiber-coupled products, which have started shipping to defense, industrial and medical customers. Their initial "Generation I" lasers also continue to sell well into medical markets for the treatment of varicose veins, and the company believes that laser products for dermatological, dental and other medical treatments will remain a significant part of their business for the future.

"Our customer's applications are increasingly requiring the highest brightness single emitters for their solid-state laser pumping, materials processing, medical, printing, and defense products," said Jeffrey Ungar, chief executive of QPC. "We've demonstrated world-record brightness levels from 808 nm high-power single emitters, which we will commercialize in a new line of high-brightness high-power semiconductor lasers."

QPC's BrightLase products can produce more than 6.25 W from a 50 µm wide 808 nm single emitter, in excess of 125 mW per micron of emitting length. These single-emitter power levels are well above the facet power densities previously reported in the 808 nm regime.

The company's next products, Generation III, with higher brightness and power levels, will be commercialized in the near future. "We expect the Generation III products will be prototyped in late 2007 and commercially released in 2008," commented Ungar. "As well as improved brightness, color purity and ruggedness, our manufacturing process will bring lower manufacturing costs which we can pass on to our customers."

Those customers will include defense contractors, a market QPC anticipates will be penetrated further with their next-generation diodes. "QPC are already supplying products to Northrop Grumman, a contract which contributed to our Q1 results, and we believe our laser products will find application in the detection of mines and concealed weapons in the near future," said Ungar during the company's Q1 results conference call.

The company's business model for the future will focus on building top-line sales and growing their customer base, according to George Lintz, QPC's chief financial officer. Commenting on the company's posting an overall loss of $1.9 million in Q1 2007 compared to a $2.2 million loss in Q4 2006, Lintz said "Our financing for growth through 2007 and into 2008 is now in place. Currently we are still making a loss, but the rate is slowing down as our products continue to make inroads into the market. We don't expect to be cash-flow positive until the end of Q2 2008 or shortly thereafter."

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