July 26, 2012 / 5:49 AM / in 5 years

Aixtron says target at risk due to weak economy

FRANKFURT, July 26 (Reuters) - German chip-equipment maker Aixtron said on Thursday weak macro-economic circumstances may affect its target to realise an operating profit for this year.

The company, whose products are used by chip makers as well as producers of LED lights, swung to a second-quarter loss before interest and tax of 16.5 million euros ($20 million).

That was below the average of a 9.8 million euro operating loss in a Reuters poll of 10 banks and brokerages, with individual estimates ranging from a 23 million euro loss to a 17 million euro operating profit.

“The recent perceived higher short-term macro-economic risks in the end markets Aixtron addresses, has increased the timing risks on the predicted orders and shipments in the second half of the year,” the company said in a statement.

It added it still expects to return to profitability in the course of the second half of this year.

Aixtron’s results, just as its Dutch peer ASML‘s, are considered a barometer for the health of the tech sector.

Earlier this month ASML gave an upbeat outlook as far out as 2013 on strong demand for the hottest consumer gadgets such as tablets and smartphones.

On Wednesday however Apple reported lower-than-expected results for the second quarter in a year. ($1 = 0.8248 euros) (Reporting by Harro ten Wolde)

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