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Business briefs

30 Jul 2007

Featuring news from CVI, Corning, StockerYale, Electro Scientific Industries, Spectranetics, Luxtera and others.

• The acquisition of Melles Griot by CVI, the US optical and laser technology supplier, has been officially completed. The companies will operate under a unified management team and trade as CVI Melles Griot, organized around two business units: Lasers and Optics, and Photonic Products. The company stated that adding Melles Griot laser products to the CVI portfolio enabled the company to supply integrated optical systems and sub-systems to its customers through a strong manufacturing platform.

Corning, the speciality glass and ceramics manufacturer, announced sales of $1.42 billion for the second quarter of 2007, up 12% on the equivalent period last year, along with Net income of $489 million, down 5% on Q2 2006. The company noted the strong performance of its display technologies business and rising demand for LCD televisions, but also said that sales in the telecoms sector were softer than anticipated. Emerging technologies, including nanostructured optical fibers that allow cables to be bent around very tight corners, were identified as showing significant growth potential for the future.

• The performance of the LED business unit and the introduction of Lasiris laser products were singled out by StockerYale as the major factors contributing to an increase in revenues for Q2 2007 to $7 million. This represents a rise of 53% compared with Q2 2006 but a fall of 7% over Q1 2007. The Photonics Products division acquired in 2006 was said to have underperformed and significantly detracted from overall company performance during the quarter.

Electro Scientific Industries (ESI), a US provider of photonic micro-engineering solutions, has acquired New Wave Research, a market leader in sapphire wafer scribing and laser micromachining, for approximately $36 million. The deal is said to boost product development through the merging of the two companies' design expertise, and will expand the worldwide sales and support network for their products. ESI predicts a boost in revenue of $7-8 million through the period ending September 2007.

• During the three years up to August 2006 the average optics company saw sales increase by 10.6%, from £20.2 million ($40 million) to £22.4 million, according to a new survey. Pre-tax profits increased over the same period from £1 million to £1.3 million, a rise of 21.7%. The faster rate of increase for profits compared to sales is claimed to indicate either a general reduction in the cost of sales across the industry, or decreasing price competition in the market place. The findings are published in Optical Industry - Business Ratio Report from Research and Markets, which compares the financial performance of 91 leading companies in the optics industry.

Spectranetics, which manufactures what it claims to be the only excimer laser approved in the US, Europe and Japan for minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures, reported a rise in revenue of 27% to $20.4 million for Q2 2007. Pre-tax income was $1 million, compared with $516,000 in Q2 2006. The worldwide installed base increased to 693 systems, of which 36 were placed in Q2 2007 compared with 25 in the comparable quarter last year. Growth was said to be driven primarily by a 43% increase in atherectomy product sales.

Luxtera has joined the Ethernet Alliance, an industry-led global organization committed to the expansion of Ethernet technology. The company's optical and electronic circuits, including modulators and photodetectors on a single CMOS die, are said to reduce the costs associated with 10 Gbit/s Ethernet networks. The Ethernet Alliance aims to smooth adoption of the technology by promoting the technical viability of Ethernet technologies to consumers.

• Forthcoming architectural and ambiance luminaries from Aluci will incorporate multi-watt plug-and-play LED light engines from Enfis, after an agreement between the two companies. The Enfis UN050 RGBA devices are claimed to allow Aluci to offer a complete range of 'warm' to 'cold' white light and full color-changeability in a single unit.

Molex, a global electronic components company, has acquired Polymicro Technologies, a manufacturer of silica capillary tubing, specialty optical fibers and optical fiber assemblies. Molex described the acquisition as a strategic move to boost its share of the global fiber-optic assemblies market, especially in analytical, genomic and biotechnology sectors.

• A laser welding certification program has been announced by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, administered by the Department of Engineering Professional Development. The program aims to establish an independently evaluated level of accomplishment, incorporating the guidelines of ISO, FDA, AWS to provide best-practice standards for the industry. Two Certificate options are available, one for laser welding engineers, and the other for technical support roles.

• The success of Process Photonics in penetrating the market for spare parts and service of laser drillers has been singled out by the company's parent, the Tarquin Group, as being responsible for Tarquin's revenues rising to $2.3 million for the year ended March 2007 from $1.3 million the previous year. The Group as a whole posted a net loss for the year of just over $1 million.

• The 500th iCAP 6000 ICP emission spectrometer has been shipped by Thermo Fisher Scientific. The instrument has been delivered to Boeing's Frederickson facility to monitor the contents of chemical tanks used in the production of aluminum wings and other structural components. Trace analysis of metals in the tanks is indicative of the health of the tanks and is a key step in the QA processes.

ULO OpticsEKSMA OpticsDataRay Inc.Boston Electronics CorporationSynopsys, Optical Solutions GroupBristol Instruments, Inc.Edmund Optics
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