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Losses widen at Inrad Optics

19 Aug 2014

Sharp decline in sales offsets the cost-cutting measures taken by the US company last year.

Inrad Optics, the US company that makes a range of custom and off-the-shelf crystal-based optical components, has reported a sharply increased loss for its latest financial quarter – despite the impact of cost-cutting measures taken in 2013.

In a filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) last week, the New Jersey firm revealed that sales in the three months to June 30 dropped 17 per cent year-on-year to $2.2 million.

That translated to a net loss of $1.0 million on the bottom line, up from $0.65 million a year ago and also worse than the opening quarter of this year. In March 2013, CEO Amy Eskilson had revealed plans to cut the company’s workforce by 10 per cent, while in November the company said it would shut its Sarasota, Florida, operations.

$1 million cost savings
Those actions have now been taken and should save the company around $1 million in annual costs, but at the moment a decrease in demand from the US defense sector, as well as universities and national laboratories, is hitting Inrad’s sales.

“An increase in shipments to customers in the laser systems and process control and metrology markets partially offset the overall decline in sales,” offered the company as a bright spot, adding that its bookings and order backlog had also recovered somewhat.

The mounting losses have further impacted Inrad’s cash position, with the company reporting cash and equivalents of $0.96 million on its June 30 balance sheet. That figure has decreased from $2.45 million at the end of 2013.

Meanwhile, the expiry dates of two convertible loan notes with a combined value of $2.5 million have just been extended by two years - both had been due to mature next April.

Stilbene commercialization
In recent months, Inrad has begun shipping stilbene, used to detect fast neutrons, in the form of bare crystals, or packaged in a canister for integration with a light detector. The technology, which was first developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is being commercialized by Inrad for the nuclear industry and other users.

In June the company won two awards relating to its stilbene development work, and was one of 25 companies to receive the Tibbetts Award from the US Small Business Association (SBA).

Inrad said that it began shipping stilbene crystals to customers at the end of 2013, in advance of the completion of the two-year small business innovation research (SBIR) contract awarded by the Department of Homeland Security's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, demonstrating what it described as an exceptionally rapid commercialization of a new material technology.

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