LPKF boosts annual revenue by 13 percent, opens South Korea subsidiary

The German company’s growth in 2013 was mainly driven by systems for laser direct structuring, with South Korea playing an important role in this context.

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Garbsen, Germany - Specialist mechanical engineering company LPKF has reported 2013 revenue is up, year on year, by 13% from EUR 115.1 M to EUR 129.7 M. At EUR 23.2 M, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were also 14% higher than the previous year’s figure of EUR 20.4 M. The EBIT margin was 17.9%, which the company says is a very high level for the industry and means that the LPKF Group fully met its targets for 2013.

Growth in 2013 was mainly driven by the very strong business with systems for laser direct structuring (LDS). South Korea played an important role in this context. Demand in South Korea increased sharply in 2013 following the recent decision made by major electronics firms in that country to deploy LDS technology.

“Almost all of the leading smartphone manufacturers worldwide now use LDS technology made in Lower Saxony,” said Dr. Ingo Bretthauer, CEO of LPKF. Rapid prototyping and plastic welding also performed well and contributed to revenue growth.

Despite a rather muted beginning of the current financial year, LPKF is optimistic about the future. The trend towards miniaturization and functional integration in electronic devices regularly offers new applications for the laser as a high-precision tool, and laser technology is developing rapidly. In the financial year ended, LPKF again invested about 10% of its revenue in the development of new laser technologies.

On the whole, the Management Board confirms its forecast and expects the LPKF Group to generate revenue of EUR 132 M to EUR 140 M for 2014, assuming stable performance by the global economy. The EBIT margin should be between 15% and 17% in 2014. Given a stable economic environment in both 2015 and 2016, the Management Board expects revenue to grow by an average of ~10% per year and the EBIT margin to come in between 15% and 17%.

New South Korea subsidiary
Around 70% of LPKF’s sales are generated in Asia; LPKF has 7 service and sales locations in China. South Korea joins China and Taiwan as one of the company’s key markets with a new service and sales subsidiary.

Video of LPKF showing the versatility of its ProtoLaser U3 system at the 2013 SPRC Symposium

LPKF has managed South Korea up until now through distributors. The flourishing business in South Korea has now led to the decision to secure direct access to the market there.

“We already have an installed base of more than 300 LPKF systems in South Korea,” explains Dr. Ingo Bretthauer, CEO of LPKF AG. “Starting in 2014, we will be able to serve our customers locally with our own service and sales team.”

Peter Birkner has been appointed to the position of CEO of the new subsidiary in Seoul.

The first sales tasks will follow on the heels of the opening of the subsidiary on April 1. The Korean team will present a cross section of LPKF systems at the SMT/PCB & Nepcon Korea trade show on April 2-4, 2014.

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Photo: Looking forward to the launch of LPKF’s South Korean subsidiary: Peter Birkner and his team of engineers and technicians during training at the headquarters in Garbsen/Hannover, Germany. Courtesy: LPKF

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