Amtech receives order for IonSolar implant system, announces Q3 FY results


Solar equipment manufacturer Amtech Systems Inc. has received an order from an unnamed Chinese solar company for its IonSolar Implant system, the company's subsidiary, Kingstone Semiconductor, announced last week.

The IonSolar Implant system, designed to deliver a high throughput production environment for high efficiency solar cells, will be shipped to China within the next six months.

"We are very pleased to announce this new order," said Amtech CEO Fokko Pentinga. "Much progress has been made expanding our market opportunities and technology offerings. In addition to this new ion implant production order, we shipped our new PECVD system to a highly respected Korean customer, our new high density, high throughput diffusion system to a key customer in Taiwan, and the ion implant system, which shipped in April to the Energy Research Centre of The Netherlands, has been installed."

Pentinga also noted the "excellent progress" Amtech is making on its n-type cell line with U.S. customers based in Texas. "There is increasing momentum in the marketplace to invest in next generation technology solutions to improve the conversion efficiency of solar cells and lower the total cost of ownership. We continue to prudently invest in the development of next generation solutions and are engaged in discussions with current and prospective customers regarding their specific technology objectives and future capacity requirements for 2015 and beyond."

Solar orders up 37%

Amtech Systems also published last week its third quarter financial results and highlights for the nine months ended June 30, 2014.

The headline figure was a 43% increase in customer orders year-on-year, with $50.2 million received in the first nine months of the fiscal year. Of that total, $29.1 million was generated by solar orders – an increase in 37% on last year.

Net revenue reached $36.7 million, representing an increase of 32% in the space of 12 months, while net loss was reduced from $18.4 million in fiscal year 2013 to just $9.8 million this year.

Third quarter highlights included the aforementioned shipping of the company's new PECVD systems to Korea, and the successful installation of the new solar implant system in The Netherlands. Solar orders for the quarter reached $12.3 million, helping to drive net revenue to $9.2 million.

"We are pleased with the progress made in the quarter on many fronts," explained Pentinga. "Year-to-date, we have booked over $50 million in orders, including $29 million in solar orders. This represents a healthy backlog as we move into the second half of Calendar 2014. Our selective investment in solar research and development programs through the down-cycle not only doubled the size of the market we can serve, but is delivering new business as reflected in the third quarter’s 59% increase in solar backlog compared to the third quarter of 2013.

"We believe we have successfully participated in pre-recovery solar business opportunities and continue to believe the real recovery will start in 2015."

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