Aspocomp’s net sales for the second quarter of 2023 amounted to EUR 9.5 million, remaining at the same level as in the comparison period. The slowdown of the semiconductor cycle and high inventory levels in various parts of our value chain slowed down net sales. In addition, all our customer segments were burdened with uncertainties arising from the operating environment. Order intake was below the level of the comparison period and amounted to EUR 5.4 million. The order book decreased to EUR 15.0 million as customers, particularly in the Semiconductor Industry, liquidated their stocks.
A temporary slowdown in the semiconductor cycle is a typical phenomenon in the industry. It is expected to turn to growth again in late 2023 or early 2024, that is, a quarter or two later than we previously estimated. However, the industry’s long-term growth prospects are still strong. The continuous development of technology – a current example of which is the proliferation of artificial intelligence applications – directly supports the company’s core business.
The segment-specific variation in the company’s operating environment continued in the second quarter as well. Measured by net sales, our largest customer segment, the Semiconductor Industry, suffered from the slowness of the cycle and high inventory levels. The net sales of the Telecommunications customer segment also decreased. On the other hand, the net sales of our Automotive Industry customer segment clearly increased. In the Security, Defense and Aerospace customer segment, in which order cycles are long, our proactive sales efforts generated higher net sales in the second quarter. The segment’s outlook is positive, and the number of requests for offers and new customers received by the company has developed favorably.
Aspocomp’s operating result for April-June decreased significantly from the exceptionally good level of the comparison period and amounted to EUR 0.4 million. The operating result was burdened by the temporary emphasis of net sales on lower-margin customer segments and the low share of profitable quick-turn deliveries. In addition, the lower-than-normal utilization rate of our factory increased the relative unit and personnel costs.
Inflation and interest rates, the risk of recession and the uncertainties posed by the Russian war of aggression affect the operating environment of the company and its customers in the financial year 2023. The cycle of the Semiconductor Industry segment is expected to return to growth at the end of the year or the beginning of 2024. We reiterate the guidance that was published on July 17, 2023, and estimate that Aspocomp’s net sales for 2023 will be below the 2022 level and its operating result for 2023 will be clearly below the 2022 level. In 2022, net sales amounted to EUR 39.1 million and the operating result to EUR 4.5 million.
Espoo, July 20, 2023
Mikko Montonen, President and CEO