April 18, 2006 – Soitec, a French manufacturer of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers, said its sales in fiscal 2006 (ended in March) totaled 262.8 million euros (US $320.6 million), an 89% increase from a year ago. Fourth-quarter sales rose 9% sequentially to 77.3 million euros (US $94.3 million), a 90% gain from 4Q05. 2H06 sales rose nearly 30% from 1H06, and 104% from 2H05, to 148.2 million euros ($180.8 million).
Full-year sales of 300mm wafers increased a whopping 256% from 2005 to represent 60% of total wafer sales; other wafer sizes, notably 200mm, grew 12.5%. Operating margin is “confidently expected” to be about 15% for 2H06, vs. 10% for the first half of the year.
Soitec projects consolidated sales will soar to about 400 million euros ($488.0 million) in fiscal 2007, helped by increasing demand for SOI wafers in applications including game consoles and “media-rich content products.”
The company said last month it plans to build a new 300mm fab to boost output by nearly 40% to 1.0 million wafers/month, vs. current capacity at its Bernin II site of 720,000 wafers/month. Total investment in the new fab, including equipment, is projected to be approximately 350 million euros ($430 million). Construction at an undetermined location will begin before the end of its next fiscal year in March 2007, with production beginning in 2008.