Sales were down 3 percent year-on-year but the net profit more than doubled. The sales dip was partially due to backlog and limits on production capacity that the company is addressing with expansion in France and Malaysia
For the full year X-Fab had revenue of $581.7 million, up 13 percent year-on-year and made a net profit of $89.8 million, up 95 percent year-on-year.
X-Fab said it expects revenue of between $138 million and $144 million in 1Q18 and for the full 2018 year to see revenue of between $615 million and $655 million.
In the fourth quarter X-Fab achieved growth in all of its key sectors; automotive, industrial and medical. X-Fab manufactures about 500 different products for automotive, about 600 for industrial and about 60 different products for medical applications.
The company said it would be in a better position to meet demand as its factory in Corbeil-Essonnes France is brought up to use more technologies (see X-Fab to swallow Altis Semiconductor). The first automotive product prototypes based on 180nm high-voltage process with embedded flash were run in 4Q18. In the fourth quarter, the first prototyping of automotive products based on X-Fab’s 180nm high-voltage process with embedded flash was launched. Automotive production is planned to start towards the end of 2018 after qualification and approvals.
Next: More wafer starts
Capacity expansion is also on track at X-Fab’s factory in Sarawak, Malaysia. Equipment has been installed and is being qualified. The additional capacity of 4,000 wafer starts per month is expected to come online in 2Q18, X-Fab said. X-Fab in Texas started receiving production revenues for silicon-carbide in 4Q17. The company is working with 11 customers on implementing proprietary versions of SiC technologies and components.
CEO Rudi De Winter commented: “I am delighted about our MEMS business, which is well on track for strong growth in 2018 based on various applications in all four of our end markets. In the fourth quarter, we launched production of a new generation MEMS microphone, setting new standards with respect to technical performance. The market for MEMS microphones is growing strongly due to the increased number of microphones per smartphone, the increased use of headphones with noise cancellation, as well as the wider adopt ion of voice input for various smart applications.”
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