Laser optics companies report solid growth

SAXONBURG, PA AND NORTHVALE, N J—The solid financial reports from crystal growth technology company II-VI Incorporated and optical components and assemblies company Photonic Products Group are by no means sufficient to predict a rosy future for the laser optics industry in the U.

SAXONBURG, PA AND NORTHVALE, N J—The solid financial reports from crystal growth technology company II-VI Incorporated and optical components and assemblies company Photonic Products Group are by no means sufficient to predict a rosy future for the laser optics industry in the U.S.; however, the positive earnings and projected growth do provide some comfort in light of overall concerns about the worldwide economy and its impact on the photonics industry as a whole, as expressed in our Photonics West 2008 conference review back in mid February (see the February 15 issue of Optoelectronics Report or www. laserfocusworld. com/ articles/320263 & 318266).

For II-VI, revenues from continuing operations for the quarter ended March 31, 2008 increased 25% to a record $80.9 million from $64.8 million in the third quarter of last fiscal year. Francis J. Kramer, president and CEO said, “The Military & Materials and Compound Semiconductor Group segments recorded sizeable bookings increases in both the quarter and fiscal year-to-date. As expected, Infrared Optics was a significant driver of segment bookings, revenues and earnings.” Kramer continued, “Robust bookings throughout this year have significantly increased our order backlog and we believe we have good visibility for the remainder of the fourth quarter and fiscal year ending June 30, 2008. While we recognize that global economic challenges and uncertainties may persist during the next 15 months, we remain confident in II-VI’s ability to deliver on our growth objectives.”

Photonic Products Group reported that revenues for its fiscal year ended December 31, 2007 were a record $15.1 million, up 8.5% from last year. Order intake for the year was the highest ever at $17.8 million, up 34.0% from 2006. With the INRAD, Laser Optics, and MRC Optics business units of Photonic Products group specializing in crystal-based optical components and devices, laser accessories, optical assemblies, optical coatings, and optomechanical and electro- optical assemblies, it is hoped that these strong earnings bode well for other optics companies serving the photonics industry, especially those with a product line catering to the booming defense industry.

Adding to the enthusiasm for future growth in laser-related (and again, defense-related) optical components was the announcement that the INRAD business unit of Photonic Products Group received a follow-on production contract for proprietary ultraviolet optical filter elements from Northrop Grumman’s Defensive Systems Division for a missile warning system and a directed infrared counter-measures system. This award is the largest to date, covering monthly deliveries from February 2008 through July 2009 at double this year’s production rate. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come! —Gail Overton

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