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13 Aug 2007

Featuring news from Linos, IPG Photonics, Leister Process Technologies, Intune Networks, Ionatron, Blonder Tongue and others.

Linos, a supplier of optical systems and components, generated revenues of €46.5 million ($63 million) in the first half of 2007, an increase of 6.9% over the first half of the previous year. Operating profit increased by 19.2% over the same period, to €5.8 million. Order intake was down 12.9% to €41.1 million, attributed by the company to an unusually strong order book in the equivalent period of 2006.

IPG Photonics reported that sales of fiber lasers for materials processing applications reached $33.9 million in Q2 2007, an increase of 47% over the same period in 2006. Pulsed lasers for marking applications and low-powered lasers used in medical systems also showed strong sales growth. Total revenues for the company rose from $32 million to $44 million in the equivalent quarters.

Leister Process Technologies has acquired the Swiss sensor company IR Microsystems, a supplier of diode laser-based gas detection modules, to expand its activities in microsystems technology. The acquisition is part of Leister's long-term focus on sensors, optics and laser technology which began with the creation of its Axetris Microsystems business unit and its Novolas laser welding systems activity.

• The laser welding sector in Europe is expected to grow significantly in comparison to other welding technologies that are facing a decline in demand, according to a new survey. The welding equipment market is a very mature one, but the trend towards automation and the increase in demand from end-user industries mean that stable growth is still expected. Demand for laser welding equipment is singled out as a spur to growth in the Frost & Sullivan report titled European Welding Equipment Market available from Research and Markets.

Flir has been awarded a $22.9 million order from the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command for its Star Safire III stabilized multi-sensor systems. This represents the first order under a $77.9 million indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract newly-awarded to the US thermal imaging and camera supplier.

Intune Networks, Ireland, a developer of technology for telecommunications networks, has raised $17.75 million from a consortium of international investors consisting of Amadeus Capital Partners, Balderton Capital and Spark Capital. The funding will provide the resources to commercialize new innovations and accelerate market penetration, according to the company.

• Strong demand for OLED microdisplays was the principal factor behind eMagin's increase in revenues of 153% for Q2 2007 compared to the same period last year, according to the company. A net loss for the same period of $1.7 million represented an improvement over the loss of $4.8 million for Q2 2006, reflecting what the company referred to as manufacturing and financial discipline in the manufacture of its products.

Ionatron, a developer of directed energy weapons, announced an increase in revenues for Q2 2007 to $3.1 million, compared to $2 million for the same period last year. The increase was attributed to new laser-guided energy (LGE) contracts, including a US Navy contract for $9.8 million, and the establishment of a new operating division supporting LGE technologies. Revenue for the six months ended 30 June 2007 was $5.2 million, compared to $7 million for the same period last year, a decrease attributed to completion of certain contracts in 2006.

• Net sales for Blonder Tongue's network solutions and technical services to broadband service providers fell 15% to $8 million in Q2 2007 compared to the equivalent period last year. The change was attributed to a decrease in headend and interdiction product sales. Net losses of $822,000 were reported, compared to a loss of $332,000 for the comparable period in 2006. The company predicted that efforts to reduce operating expenses would soon yield improvements, and that a China initiative remained on course.

II-VI, a specialist in crystal growth technology and optoelectronic components, reported that fourth quarter revenues rose by 11% to $72 million, compared to $65 million in the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year. Revenues for the year increased 13% to $263 million. The company indicated that each of its markets showed robust bookings for future delivery, and that the infrared optics segment had made good progress in adding material growth capacity.

• The launch of OptiML wafer-level camera products and strong growth in the memory market contributed to a rise in revenues for Tessera to $46.7 million in Q2 2007, compared to $24 million in the same period last year. The first license for OptiML was assigned to Alps Electric in July 2007, and the company predicted further industry adoption of the technology in the future.

Philips Lumileds announced that over 100 million units of its Luxeon flash power LEDs have been delivered to camera phone manufacturers since the product was introduced three years ago. Technological development has allowed Luxeon flash units to more than triple their light output since their first release, according to the company.


• Jan Lobbezoo has been named chairman of the board of directors by Heptagon, a Finnish-Swiss developer of wafer-scale micro-optics. Lobbezoo has more than 30 years' experience in senior management, including positions at Philips Semiconductors and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

NeoPhotonics, a developer of optical components for the telecommunications industry, has appointed Benjamin Sitler as vice president of worldwide sales. Sitler will oversee the company's sales force as well as its channel and distribution partnerships. He was previously vice president for tunable products, a product line which came to NeoPhotonics via the acquisition of Paxera, a company that Sitler co-founded.

PerkinElmer has announced a succession plan that aims to continue the company's growth strategy and provide leadership continuity. Robert Friel will become president and chief operating officer effective 1 August 2007, and it is expected that he will be elected chief executive officer in February 2008. At that time Greg Summe will become executive chairman of the board and remain as such through the annual shareholders meeting in April 2009.

LaCroix Precision OpticsOmicron-Laserage Laserprodukte GmbHJenLab GmbHUniverse Kogaku America Inc.AlluxaABTechECOPTIK
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