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Trumpf grows, while Rofin's sales fall

Systems supplier Trumpf has registered three per cent increase in sales for its fiscal year, reaching €2.8 billion. The news follows laser maker Coherent posting record sales, up 14 per cent year-on-year in Q3 of its fiscal year. Rofin, which Coherent is in the process of acquiring, saw an increase in sales of its laser products for macro applications compared to the previous year, but, overall, the company's net sales fell for its fiscal third quarter.

Among the reasons Trumpf notes for growth include developments in certain regional markets, such as Spain and France, where double-digit sales growth was achieved.

So far, the result of the UK referendum for Brexit has not seriously endangered business prospects for Trumpf in the UK over the long term, according to the company. Trumpf generates around €55 million in annual sales in the UK. 'We have been paying special attention to the market ever since the referendum, but demand for our products has so far remained unbroken,’ said Dr Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller, president and chairwoman of the Trumpf Managing Board.

Speaking of the company’s published figures at the end of the fiscal year, the president commented: ‘Even though we were unable to keep sales growth as strong as in the previous fiscal year, this result is still satisfactory in view of the global situation.’ Here she mentioned the economic slowdown in China and Brazil, the sanctions against Russia, and also the strength of the Swiss franc. She added that over the past fiscal year, Trumpf had pressed ahead with several targeted investments in the future, including the development of new machines and business models, and structural expansion of locations in Germany and abroad.

Rofin’s net sales totalled $125.9 million for the fiscal third quarter, which ended on 30 June, a five per cent decrease from the comparable quarter in 2015. Gross profit totalled $49.6 million, compared to $52.3 million, in the same period last year. The company has incurred $1.7 million of non-recurring costs during the quarter, primarily related to a contemplated merger with Coherent, having a net after tax effect of approximately $1.3 million on net income. The merger is expected to close in the last calendar quarter of 2016.

Sales of laser products for macro applications increased by three per cent to $50.4 million compared to the previous year, and accounted for 40 per cent of total sales for the quarter. Sales of laser products for marking and micro applications decreased by 20 per cent to $51.6 million, and represented 41 per cent of total sales.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2016, 41 per cent of laser-related sales were from the machine tool industry (compared to 37 per cent in Q3 2015); 12 per cent from the automotive industry (eight per cent in 2015); 13 per cent from the semiconductor, electronics and photovoltaic industries (30 per cent in 2015); and 34 per cent from other industries (25 per cent in 2015).

Looking forward, profit margins are expected to increase as a result of the company starting to ship its 2.5kW fibre laser modules, and these new modules will start to feature more widely in its high-power fibre laser range.

‘We continue to see encouraging demand for our high-power fibre lasers, resulting in a 25 per cent year-on-year increase in units shipped.’ commented Thomas Merk, CEO and president of Rofin. ‘We also saw more diversified demand for these lasers in the third quarter, with increased demand for higher power levels and for welding applications.’

Elsewhere, additive manufacturing firm Concept Laser posted an 88 per cent increase in sales for the first half of 2016. According to company management, the transition to industrial series production has taken hold in a number of sectors. The aerospace industry, in particular, as well as medical technology are included, but other sectors too are increasingly committed to 3D metal printing. As things stand today, Concept Laser also expects sales to exceed their target for the second half of 2016.

Frank Herzog, president and CEO of Concept Laser, said: ‘The transition to the industrial series production of additively manufactured metal parts is increasingly stimulating our growth. But this is where our constant aspiration to advance the technology with further innovations and cater for the needs of the market and our customers in the best way possible is also paying off. From the end of 2016, the next logical step will then be the commercial launch of our new machine architecture.’

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