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Business briefs

06 Aug 2007

Featuring news from Bookham, Rofin-Sinar, Newport, Flir, Powerlase and others.

Bookham has announced financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended June 30 2007. Revenue for Q4 was $45.1 million, compared with $45 million in Q3 and $55 million in Q4 of 2006. A net loss in Q4 of $13.6 million was reported, compared with a net loss of $24.3 million in Q3 2007 and a net loss of $27 million in Q4 2006. The company stated that it had seen growth in several legacy products, particularly fixed wavelength 10Gbit/s transmitters and receivers, and that revenue from tunable laser products was up 60% from the previous quarter. Two new products soon to come to market, a small form factor tunable transponder and a 980 nm submarine pump laser, are expected to positively impact revenue in the second half of the calendar year.

• Third quarter results from Rofin-Sinar were said by the company to have benefited from strong demand in Asia and the robust European economy, which compensated for softer North American markets. Net sales totaled $121.4 million for Q3 ended June 30 2007, an 11% increase over Q3 2006. Gross profit totaled $51.7 million, compared to $46.9 million in Q3 2006. High demand for the company's macro laser products from the machine tool industry and its portfolios for micro and marking applications were predicted to support the business in upcoming quarters.

Newport reported results for its second quarter ended June 30 2007, showing that sales decreased by 1% to $110.9 million from the $112.4 million recorded in Q2 2006. Gross profit for the quarter was $48.8 million, compared with $49.8 million for Q2 2006. Ongoing slowness in the semiconductor equipment market was said to have hindered sales growth, although the company also stated that orders from the life and health sciences market had reached a record level.

Flir, a US supplier of thermal imaging and camera systems, announced results for its 2nd quarter ended June 30 2007. Revenue was $184.3 million, up 33% compared with the second quarter of 2006. Gross profit rose to $99 million compared with $74 million in the equivalent quarter of the previous year. The company indicated that demand was especially strong in its Government Systems and Commercial Vision Systems divisions.

Powerlase, the UK supplier of diode-pumped solid-state lasers, has announced the volume purchase of the Starlase A08 laser by LG Electronics. LG will integrate the new lasers with existing systems to ramp-up production capacity of plasma display panels. The purchase builds on existing use of Powerlase systems by LG, and will be part of the rapid laser patterning process said to reduce production costs and manufacturing steps in the production of flat-panel displays.

Peak Test Services has been appointed as the exclusive UK representative for the LightProbes range produced by Optomistic Products, US. LightProbes are used to test LEDs and other lamps and displays on printed-circuit boards using in-circuit test fixtures and automatic test equipment. They are said to be the light-sensing equivalent of conventional in-circuit electrical test probes, of which the Peak Group is a leading UK supplier.

Micronic Laser Systems, the Swedish supplier of laser pattern generators for photomasks, has received an order for an LRS series pattern generation tool from an Asian customer. The company said that the order was evidence of increased demand in that market, and that delivery of the system is scheduled for 2007.

Seoul Semiconductor has signed European and Asian distribution agreements with Avnet Electronics Marketing, a division of Avnet, to expand the sales network for its LED products. The agreements follow the announcement in January that Avnet will distribute Seoul Semiconductor's products in the North American market.

Optical Surfaces has delivered a pair of matching ultra-smooth off-axis parabola to a Japanese manufacturer of analytical and measuring technology. The mirrors will be beam focusing components in an application requiring fine translational control of the mirrors in multiple axes, and have been supplied in rigid mounts specially designed for the customer.

• The Optics Section at the Physics Department of Imperial College will be celebrating its 90th anniversary with an Open Day on the September 6th 2007. The event includes invited lectures, two of which will be given by Professors Chris Dainty and Roy Taylor, and will be followed by a BBQ. The event is open to optics professionals, former members and PhD and MSc students from the groups.


• Dirk Rüttgerodt has been appointed managing director for commercial management at Baumer Optronic, the German manufacturer of digital image acquisition components and smart vision sensors. The previous commercial manager, Oliver Vietze, has been appointed to the management board of the Baumer Group.

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