LPKF Announces New Initiatives after Disappointing 2014
GARBSEN, Germany — Closing the books on a disappointing 2014, LPKF Laser & Electronics AG has set its sights on new laser machining processes and new markets.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) fell 45 percent in 2014 to €13 million. Revenue were €120 million, down 8 percent from 2013. The company said this was its first drop in revenue in 11 years.
The company attributed the results to weak demand for its laser directed structuring (LDS) and printed circuit board (PCB) production equipment, as well as economic difficulties affecting customers in South Korea.
“This is clearly an unsatisfactory result for LPKF,” said CEO Dr. Ingo Bretthauer. “We had originally planned to achieve a lot more during 2014, but weak incoming orders in two of our six product groups simply turned these plans upside down.”
While they could not counteract the LDS losses, revenues rose 31 percent in the company’s other production equipment segment and 21 percent in the electronics development equipment segment, beating expectations.
In the years ahead, LPKF said it sees growth potential in the wearable technologies and LED markets. It expects revenue of €128 million to €136 million in 2015.
The company plans to launch three new laser-based materials processing methods this year, including a coating process to enable the application of heavy-duty metal layers to plastic substrates, a digital laser printing method for functional pastes and a laser-driven ultrafine glass drilling process for use by chip makers.
LPKF manufactures machines and laser systems used in electronics fabrication, medical technology, the automotive sector and the production of solar cells.