GOTTINGEN, Germany, April 26 - Lambda Physik AG, one of the world?s leading developers and manufacturers of pulsed UV lasers such as excimer lasers and diode-pumped solid-state lasers, published the results for the first half of the fiscal year ending September 30, 2001. The second quarter was the best in the company?s 30-year history, with new records set for all the key indicators. In view of the outstanding prospects, the management board is increasing the forecast for sales growth in the current fiscal year from 30 - 35 percent to 40 -45 per cent. Business development speeded up even more in the second quarter following a first quarter that had already been very successful. Group sales in the first six months were 68 percent higher than in the previous year at EUR 71.6 million, compared with EUR 42.5 million for the same period last year. Net income in the first half of the year increased by 215 per cent to EUR 6 million, compared with EUR 1.9 million last year. The earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were up about 124 percent at EUR 11.5 million, compared with EUR 5.1 million for the prior year. The EBIT margin increased from 12.1 to 16.1 percent, while the earnings per share went up from EUR 0.15 to EUR 0.46. The sales and income growth is attributable to positive developments in all the business divisions, the company said. The highest growth rates (110 percent and 88 percent) were recorded in the lithography field and with industrial applications. Following the achievement of a break-even performance in the lithography division in fiscal 2000, this division already made a substantial contribution to earnings in the first half of 2001. Order intake grew considerably faster in the first half of the year. The increase of 66 percent to EUR 104.1 million is a new record, as is the total order book of EUR 91.5 million. The industrial applications division received the biggest individual order the company has ever obtained, with a volume of EUR 22.3 million, from Japan Steel Works in the 2nd quarter. The lithography division again reported better-than-average growth. The number of employees increased to 375 from 305 in the previous year and sales per employee rose from EUR 139,000 to EUR 191,000.