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Hamamatsu reports 10% sales increase

12 Nov 2014

But Japanese photonics giant remains cautious about international market stability in 2015.

Hamamatsu Photonics, a leading developer of photomultiplier tubes, imaging systems and opto-semiconductors, has reported a positive set of financial results for the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2014. But the Japan-headquartered company has greeted an almost 10% annual improvement in sales with some caution, warning of an uncertain global marketplace in 2015.

In its latest financial year, the company achieved net sales of ¥112bn (€777m), up 9.7 % on the equivalent figures from 2012-2013. Operating income was ¥21.7bn (€151m), up 29.1% and net income ¥15.2bn (€106m), up 31.5% on the previous year’s figures. The company commented, “In addition to domestic sales growth, overseas sales gained as well due mainly to the favorable exchange rate.”

However despite the improved figures, the company, led by president and CEO Akira Hiruma, said it remained concerned about certain aspects of the international business landscape in 2015 due to several economic and geopolitical concerns.

The company’s financial summary of the wider business year 2013-2014 stated, “Japan’s economy as a whole maintained a gradual economic recovery trend. Investment in plant and equipment rose gradually as corporate earnings strengthened and the employment and income environment showed improvement as well, against the backdrop of various economic measures and the Bank of Japan’s monetary easing policy.

”On the other hand, the economic picture overseas has remained uncertain despite moves toward a recovery that could be seen in some areas, and factors leading to instability, including a slowdown in newly developing countries and geopolitical risks, lingered.”

Looking ahead to 2015, the company acknowledged “the ongoing recovery trend in corporate capital investment driven by improved domestic corporate earnings”, but warned that uncertain conditions overseas "create a situation under which we still cannot take an optimistic view. Under such conditions, we expect consolidated net sales for the next year of ¥118bn (€820m), up by 5.4%, and operating income of ¥23bn (€160m), up by 5.7%.”

Division performances, 2014

Electron Tubes Sales of photomultiplier tubes fell in oil-well logging applications in the measuring instrument field, but remained strong in the medical field for inspection and monitoring system such as blood analyzers. Sales of photomultiplier tubes gained as well, including higher sales for use in equipment such as laser scanning microscope in biology.

Imaging devices and light sources benefited from the recovery in semiconductor plant and equipment investment in the industrial field, which boosted sales of xenon lamps for semiconductor inspection equipment and Hamamatsu’s Stealth Dicing Engine for high-speed silicon wafer dicing.

Opto-semiconductor devices Sales in the medical field of core silicon photodiodes were boosted by growth in foreign markets, while sales of flat panel sensors remained steady, centered on dental applications. Sales of image sensors for semiconductor inspection equipment rose significantly as well, and sales of opto-semiconductor devices in general increased strongly as sales expanded for products such as LEDs and Photo ICs for factory automation.

Imaging and Measurement Instruments Sales of image processing and measurement systems were boosted by greater sales of digital cameras, particularly for life science and biology applications. Sales of digital slide scanners in pathology also advanced.

Hamamatsu's new laser irradiation building in Japan.

Hamamatsu's new laser irradiation building in Japan.

New laser irradiation building

Hamamatsu Photonics has also this month announced the completion of its new laser irradiation building to house the company’s research projects into applications of the world’s most powerful 100-joule class, high repetition rate laser-diode pumped all-solid-state laser.

The new building is located on the site of Hamamatsu’s Industries Development laboratory (in Nishi-ku, Hamamatsu), where the company’s Power Laser Development Section works on projects related to laser fusion for power generation. Operations at the new building are scheduled to begin in February 2015.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is contributing editor to optics.org.

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