Comet with subdued start to 2023

Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR

Trading update first quarter 2023

  • Net sales of CHF 107.5 million, 13.9% lower than in Q1/22
  • Book-to-bill of 0.83 at the end of Q1
  • Decline in operating result expected in 2023

Comet achieved net sales of CHF 107.5 million in the first three months of FY23, down 13.9% year-over-year (Q1/22: CHF 124.8 million). The Plasma Control Technologies (PCT) division with its almost exclusive customer base in the semiconductor industry was most affected by the ongoing cyclical correction in the semiconductor market. In contrast to PCT, the two x-ray divisions IXS and IXM were able to increase sales in Q1/23. 

As expected, the correction in the semiconductor market and consequently the decline in investments in new wafer fabrication equipment were accompanied by lower order intake. The book-to-bill was thus 0.83 at the end of March 2023, reflecting the lower order intake and first quarter sales generated from existing backlog. 

Comet has taken measures at an early stage to cushion the impact of the cyclical correction on its results. These measures include, among others, the reduction of temporary workers and the adjustment of operating hours in production. While diligently mitigating larger impacts on the result 2023, the company is preparing to be ready and able to deliver for the expected surge in demand once the cyclical correction is over. 

The long-term growth outlook for Comet remains very positive, driven by the semiconductor industry needing more capacities for microchips in general, but also by new applications and technologies triggering ever higher demand for semiconductor devices featuring ever higher complexity. This requires both more plasma processing in the front-end of the value chain, benefitting the PCT division, as well as requiring x-ray inspection in the back-end of the industry, benefitting both x-ray divisions. While the current cyclical correction in the semiconductor industry is expected to continue for some time, Comet expects the automotive, aerospace, and security markets to remain stable for the full year 2023. In this business environment, Comet is consistently implementing its focus strategy.

Comet’s visibility into the timing of the upturn of the semiconductor cycle remains low. After a weak first half, the semiconductor business is expected to rebound in the later part of the second half.  

Based on these assumptions, Comet expects net sales of between CHF 440 million and CHF 480 million and an EBITDA margin of 13% to 15% for the 2023 financial year.

Dr Ulrich Steiner  
VP Investor Relations & Sustainability  
T +41 31 744 99 95  
Corporate Calendar  
July 28, 2023
October 19, 2023
November 9, 2023
Publication of half-year results 2023
Trading Update Q3
Capital Markets Day

Comet Group
The Comet Group is a globally leading, innovative technology company based in Switzerland with a focus on plasma control and x-ray technology. With premium high-tech components and systems, we enable our customers to both enhance the quality of their products and make their manufacturing more efficient, and eco-friendly. Our innovative solutions are in demand in the semiconductor and electronics market, the aerospace and automobile industry and in security inspection. Headquartered in Flamatt, Switzerland, the Comet Group has a presence in all world markets. We employ more than 1,700 people worldwide, including about 600 in Switzerland. Besides production facilities in China, Denmark, Germany, Malaysia, Switzerland and the USA, we maintain various other subsidiaries in Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the USA. Comet (COTN) is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

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