INFICON Announces First Quarter 2004 Results; Net Sales Increase 22% and Operational Leverage Improves

SYRACUSE, N.Y. & ZURICH, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 22, 2004--INFICON Holding AG (SWX Swiss Exchange and NASDAQ: IFCN), a leading manufacturer of vacuum instrumentation and process control software for the semiconductor and related industries and other industrial applications, today announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2004.


Revenues for the first quarter of 2004 were $47.3 million, compared to $38.9 million for the first quarter of 2003, representing a 22% increase. On a constant dollar basis, revenues grew 14.8%. Net income for the first quarter of 2004 was $3.1 million ($1.31 per diluted share - $0.13 per ADS), compared to the $43,000 ($0.02 per diluted share - $0.00 per ADS) reported for the first quarter of 2003. The company ended the quarter with $37.4 million in cash and cash equivalents, having generated $2.5 million from operations and used $1.1 million in investing activities.


Lukas Winkler, president and chief executive officer, commented, "As expected, last year's fourth quarter improved momentum continued into the first quarter producing revenue growth for the fifth consecutive quarter and achieving an operating margin from continuing operations of 10% for the first time since the second quarter of 2001. Clearly, we are realizing once again the benefits of our flexible operating model."


Winkler continued, "Improved economic conditions, particularly in Europe and the U.S., and better-than-expected sales to our private-label customers who are the major vacuum pump manufacturers - they resell our products to a large and diverse customer base - were the primary factors contributing to the favorable first quarter results. This success illustrates INFICON's established, dominant market share that we sustain with superior product performance. Sales of our Environmental Health and Safety products also remained strong.


"We also saw ongoing strong order flow for vacuum gauges and in situ metrology and process control products from our semiconductor customers. And we were gratified to win two 'Editors' Choice Best Products Awards' for FabGuard(R) process diagnostic software and Stiletto(TM) Scanning Laser Particle Detector from Semiconductor International, a premier trade publication in the semiconductor industry. Even more impressive, FabGuard was recognized as this year's Grand Winner for the most outstanding product used in semiconductor manufacturing."


The first quarter financial statements include a reclassification of the company's patterning solutions product line as a discontinued operation. During the quarter, INFICON engaged the services of an investment bank to explore alternatives for this business. "And we have come to the conclusion that our plan to broaden our advanced process control footprint with patterning solutions software did not yield the expected synergies. Instead, we believe the company's interests are best served by focusing on our core competency in semiconductor vacuum processes with automated, 'tool-based' sensors and process diagnostic software that enable our customers to focus critical resources on making important manufacturing decisions," said Winkler.


"We believe the reputation for technological innovation and excellence that INFICON has built, combined with our operational flexibility, will serve us well, especially as the semiconductor industry continues to improve," concluded Winkler. "On the strength of growing semiconductor end-user demand, offset by a seasonally slower period in Europe and on-going limited visibility, we are forecasting another robust quarter with revenues of approximately $49 million and net income of approximately $3.3 million ($1.42 per share or $0.14 per ADS) in the second quarter of fiscal 2004."


Semiconductor Vacuum Instrumentation segment revenues were $10.1 million in the first quarter of 2004 compared to $10.3 million in the same quarter of 2003. General Vacuum Instrumentation segment revenues for the first quarter of 2004 were $37.3 million compared to $28.6 million in the same period last year.


Conference Call Information

INFICON will hold a conference call to discuss its first quarter 2004 results on Thursday, April 22, 2004, at 10 a.m. EDT (4 p.m. CET). To access the conference call, please dial +1.706.634.1033 by 9:50 a.m. EDT (3:50 p.m. CET). A live webcast of the conference call will also be available in the Investor Relations section of the INFICON website, To access the replay, please dial +1.800.642.1687 (outside the U.S. and Canada, dial +1.706.645.9291), and enter conference ID number 6683984. The replay will be available until 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 29 (5:59 a.m. CET on April 30).


INFICON is a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of innovative vacuum instrumentation, critical sensor technologies, and process control software for the semiconductor and related industries. These analysis, measurement and control products are vital to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end-users in the complex manufacturing of semiconductors, flat panel displays, magnetic and optical storage media and precision optics. INFICON also provides essential instrumentation for gas leak detection and toxic chemical analysis to the air conditioning/refrigeration, emergency response and industrial hygiene markets. Headquartered in Syracuse, New York, INFICON has manufacturing facilities in the United States and Europe and worldwide offices in the U.S., China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. For more information about INFICON and its products, please visit the Company's website at


This press release and oral statements or other written statements made, or to be made, by us contain forward-looking statements that do not relate solely to historical or current facts. Forward looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "may", "believe", "will", "expect", "project", "assume", "estimate", "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "resumes", "opportunity" or "potential". These forward-looking statements address, among other things, our strategic objectives, trends in vacuum technology and in the industries that employ vacuum instrumentation, such as the semiconductor and related industries and the anticipated effects of these trends on our business. These forward-looking statements are based on the current plans and expectations of our management and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks that could significantly affect our current plans and expectations, as well as future results of operations and financial condition. Some of these risks and uncertainties are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for fiscal 2003 and the Company's reports on Form 6-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission during 2004.

As a consequence, our current and anticipated plans and our future prospects, results of operations and financial condition may differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of our company. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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