AIXTRON: Strong order momentum – continuing growth path

News Source: 
Highest order intake since 2011 / First volume production order for Micro LED / SiC and GaN Power electronics as biggest demand drivers / revenue and profit significantly improved / Growth guidance for 2022 confirmed
Herzogenrath, Germany, July 28, 2022 - AIXTRON SE (FSE: AIXA, ISIN DE000A0WMPJ6), a leading provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, recorded its highest quarterly order intake since 2011 in the second quarter of 2022. The order intake was driven by broad based demand from nearly all addressed end markets. Along with the underlying strong demand, AIXTRON equipment for energy efficient power electronics on the basis of Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Silicon Carbide (SiC) ensure an excellent order situation for AIXTRON supporting the year-on-year improvement of both revenue and profit in the second quarter.
Based on the current momentum of demand, and in expectation of a continuation of the high number of orders, the Executive Board reiterates the growth guidance for the full year 2022 given in February 2022.
Overall, the current global crisis situations and market developments continue to only have a minor impact on our business. Logistics and supply chains are still challenging, but in our view continue to be manageable.
Strong order intake
The order intake in the first half of 2022 was with EUR 282.8 million 7% above the order intake of the previous year's period (H1/2021: EUR 263.3 million). This reflects the strong overall demand from nearly all end markets. The strongest demand was recorded for tools for the volume production of Micro LEDs followed by demand for efficient power electronics based on the material systems Silicon Carbide and Gallium Nitride. At EUR 152.6 million in Q2/2022, order intake even exceeded the strong level of the previous quarter (Q1/2022: EUR 130.2 million) as well as of the prior-year quarter (Q2/2021: EUR 139.0 million). The order backlog at June 30, 2022 increased to EUR 314.4 million, from EUR 295.0 million in the previous year and EUR 260.4 million as of March 31, 2022.  Most of the order backlog is due for delivery in 2022.

SiC power electronics on the rise
Revenues of the MOCVD world market leader improved significantly in H1/2022 by 63% to EUR 191.1 million (H1/2021: EUR 117.2 million) compared to the same period of the previous year. In Q2/2022, revenues increased year-on-year by around 51% to EUR 102.5 million (Q2/2021: EUR 67.7 million). As expected, deliveries of tools for manufacturing of traditional red LEDs accounted for a large share of this. Sales of tools for SiC power electronics in particular grew strongly. Also strong was the revenue contribution from optoelectronics area and optical data communication in particular. 

Strong earnings performance compared to previous year
In the first half of 2022, gross profit increased by 63% to EUR 73.7 million at a gross margin of 39% (H1/2021: EUR 45.2 million at 39% gross margin). Gross profit development in Q2/2022 was driven by a comparatively low-margin product mix. In addition, higher costs incurred from projects to strengthen production and supply chains. Nevertheless, gross profit increased by 36% year-on-year to EUR 37.8 million at a gross margin of 37% (Q2/2021: EUR 27.9 million at gross margin of 41%).
Operating expenses amounted to EUR 42.3 million and with that were slightly higher compared to previous year's period (H1/2021: EUR 40.2 million). Increased R&D expenses and higher variable compensation components contributed to the increase in operating expenses in H1/2022. In Q2/ 2022, they decreased slightly year-on-year to EUR 20.6 million (Q2/2021: EUR 22.3 million).
The operating result (EBIT) increased year-on-year from EUR 4.9 million to EUR 31.4 million, corresponding to an EBIT margin of 16% (H1/2021: 4%). This development was mainly the result of significantly higher year-on-year revenues and the corresponding gross margin in conjunction with the business and cost developments described above. Operating result (EBIT) in Q2/2022 more than tripled year-on-year to EUR 17.2 million (Q2/2021: EUR 5.6 million) at an EBIT margin of 17% (Q2/2021: 8%).
Net profit of AIXTRON SE in H1/2022 increased to EUR 31.1 million (H1/2021: EUR 11.5 million). In Q2/2022 net profit more than doubled to EUR 17.3 million (Q2/2021: EUR 7.7 million). Earnings per share increased in H1/2022 to EUR 0.28 and to EUR 0.16 in Q2/2022  (H1/2021: EUR 0.11; Q2/2021: EUR 0.07).
Strong financial position
Free cash flow increased to EUR 26.4 million in H1/2022 (H1/2021: EUR 46.1 million). This development is mainly related to advance payments received for customer orders and the simultaneous increase in inventories. Free cash flow In Q2/2022 was at EUR 4.0 million, and with that was lower than in the same quarter of the previous year (Q2/2021: EUR 18.0 million). This is mainly related to the increase in inventories in preparation for the higher business volume expected in the coming quarters.
Mainly due to the dividend payment of EUR 33.7 million in May 2022, cash and cash equivalents including financial assets decreased to EUR 346.2 million as of June 30, 2022, compared to EUR 352.5 million as of December 31, 2021.
The high equity ratio of 78% as of June 30, 2022 (June 30, 2021: 73%) underlines AIXTRON's financial strength.
The number of employees in the Group increased to 772 as of June 30, 2022. The structural strengthening of the organization for further growth is thus well on track.

Growth guidance 2022 confirmed
Due to the good business development in the first half of 2022 and in view of the expectation of a positive development of demand for the remainder of the year 2022, the Executive Board reconfirms the growth guidance issued. Accordingly, order intake is expected to be in a range between EUR 520 million and EUR 580 million. With revenues in a range between EUR 450 million and EUR 500 million, the Executive Board expects to achieve a gross margin of approximately 41% and an EBIT margin of approximately 21% to 23% of revenues in fiscal year 2022.
As before, the expectations for 2022 are subject to the provision, that global crisis situations continue to have no significant impact on the development of the business.
"Many years of research work are now paying off," says Dr. Felix Grawert, CEO of AIXTRON SE. "This quarter marks another milestone as we are not only showing continued strong growth on a broad basis in our addressed markets, but especially with the first order for our equipment for the volume production of Micro LEDs."
"We were able to grow as planned despite the challenging market environment with supply chains remaining constrained," said Dr. Christian Danninger, CFO of AIXTRON SE. "In addition, we are driving process improvements along the entire organization in order to prepare AIXTRON SE for the expected future growth."
To download photos, please click here.
Financial information
The presentation on the results for the first half and the second quarter of 2022 is available at:

All financial tables of the Group (income statement, other comprehensive income, balance sheet, cash flow statement and statement of changes in equity) related to this press release are available as part of the Half-Year Group Financial Report 2022 at:
There, the non-financial Group report (Sustainability Report) 2021 of AIXTRON SE including details on the application of the EU taxonomy is  also available.
Release date: 31 May 2022 / 30 November 2022
Format: PDF 
Languages: Tradional Chinese / English
Pages : 130–150 in total (subject to change)

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