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Aspocomp Group has posted net sales of €7.6 million for the first quarter of the year, up by 24% compared to the same period last year. Sales were boosted by strong demand in the telecommunications network segment, with solutions based on new 5G technology as growth drivers.
The five largest customers accounted for 58% of net sales. In geographical terms, 98% of net sales were generated in Europe, 1% percent in Asia and 1% in North America.
The operating result for the first quarter improved substantially to €0.9 million. First-quarter operating result was 11.3% of net sales. The major factors behind the rise in profitability were the higher utilization rate of the Oulu plant and the greater share accounted for by more technologically demanding products.
The order book at the end of the review period was €3.4 million, representing a year-on-year increase of about €0.4 million.
“The year started well with demand growing by nearly a quarter, i.e., by 24% year-on-year. We performed excellently, even as the entire PCB market contracted by more than 2% in the first quarter (Custer Consulting, April 2019). The strongest demand came, as expected, from the telecommunications network segment, with solutions based on new 5G technology as growth drivers. In other customer segments, growth was more modest in the first quarter,” says Mikko Montonen, President and CEO of Aspocomp. “First-quarter net sales grew to €7.6 million and the operating result tripled to €0.9 million. Operating margin rose to 11.3%. The major factors behind the rise in profitability were the higher utilization rate of the Oulu plant and the greater share accounted for by the technologically most demanding products. Cash flow from operations strengthened to €2.2 million. The order book rose to EUR 3.4 million, up 12%. The record-high order book at the end of March supports further positive development in the second quarter. Demand is expected to continue to pick up, spreading across a wider range of customer segments.”
According to Montonen, the company’s investment program is proceeding as planned and at the same time opens up new opportunities to expand into new product areas and technologies. In the first quarter, the company introduced a high-temperature laminating press, which enables the deployment of Teflon-based multilayer structures. Teflon laminates are especially needed in high-frequency technologies, which are typically used in radars and antenna amplifiers.
Another major new technology that Aspocomp introduced is hard gold, which is used, for example, in semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The investment program also increases the capacity of the Oulu plant. At the beginning of the year, capacity was increased in the drilling and routing work stages as well as in the plasma etching of laminates.
“Alongside the investment program, we are constantly developing a partnership network to support the PCB needs of our customers in a comprehensive way, including volume production service and technology offerings over the entire lifecycle of a product,” says Montonen.
Aspocomp’s full-year guidance remains unchanged. In 2019, net sales are expected to grow approximately by 10% compared with 2018 and the operating result to be better than in 2018. In 2018, net sales amounted to €29.1 million and the operating result to €2.9 million.