3Q FY2013 Earnings Release Conference Q&A
In terms of region, third-quarter orders from the United States and Taiwan increased strongly. In terms of application, orders from foundries and MPU and other logic manufacturers increased. Quarterly post-sales orders totaled 28 billion yen, and orders at the acquired companies NEXX systems and FSI International were less than 5 billion yen in total.
We do not feel certain that fourth-quarter orders will exceed the third-quarter level. The lead time from order to delivery is getting shorter, which makes it difficult to make accurate forecasts. For FPD/PV orders, we forecast an increase in orders based on the current level of inquiries from FPD manufacturers in China.
We believe the market correction will continue during the first half of 2013.
We forecast a recovery in memory investment in the second-half of the year, though at the present time we do not expect a robust recovery. Regarding cost reductions in FY2014, we plan to reduce fixed costs by 10 billion yen compared with the current fiscal year, excluding plans at the four companies we acquired this fiscal year.
There is a possibility of the loss before amortization of goodwill will be in the several-billion-yen range. We will develop a more precise budget which takes into account projects under construction and new projects.
There are multiple inquiries from customers in China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other regions. Since the price decline for crystalline silicon solar panels has leveled off, we expect interest in thin-film silicon solar panels to increase.
The main reasons were the October-December sales decline and the increase in goods-in-process to be shipped between January-March.
There is no direct impact because our equipment sales contracts are yen-denominated. Over the medium term, however, we believe the yen depreciation will make us more price-competitive with U.S. equipment manufacturers.
We have no plan to change our dividend policy. In this fiscal year the dividend is meant to commemorate our 50th anniversary, so we will maintain our dividend despite the downward revision to our earnings forecast.