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Universal Leverages New Market Opportunities for Strong 2011

Feb 08, 2012

Universal Instruments positioned its electronics assembly solutions portfolio in the forefront of an evolving industry landscape to enjoy market success in 2011. The company’s product and solutions roadmaps were well-aligned in anticipation of a global technology shift, resulting in a leadership position in the emerging “green” markets, an expanded customer base and a Q4 2011 global market share gain of nearly 2% versus the prior year.

Universal Instruments’ CFO Keith O’Leary comments, “For the third consecutive year, Universal maintained a strong cash position and our Q4 market share gains portend the success of 2012. Universal acquired more than 80 new customers in 2011 and our wins spanned a diverse variety of companies, some of which are being challenged as they expand beyond their traditional competencies. By maintaining a leading-edge market strategy that supports this transformation, we’re ensuring incremental growth and continued profitability as a top-tier financial and market performer in our segment.”

Universal Instruments’ CEO and President, Jean-Luc Pelissier adds, “This year’s momentum was bolstered by emerging and evolving markets. We recognized that there was a significant industry transition at-hand and were focused on understanding new markets such as Concentrated Photovoltaic (Solar), Solid-State Lighting (SSL) and Power Conversion and delivering the best comprehensive solutions for them. We also took advantage of the explosion of new advanced Semiconductor packages and leveraged our unique capability to deliver costeffective solutions.” Pelissier continues, “These initiatives are paying dividends as a substantial percentage of our global sales were generated by these developing segments in 2011 and we expect that momentum to continue going forward. We actively supported this expansion by extending our Channel Partner infrastructure significantly and improving customer responsiveness. Universal Channel Partners combine with Universal’s direct Sales, Service and Support organization to deliver best-in-class field operations globally.”

The move towards “greener” technologies is a considerable shift that will have a lasting impact. Lighting accounts for roughly 22 percent of U.S. electricity consumption and many governments around the world have mandated the phase-out of incandescent bulbs in favor of more energy-efficient lighting alternatives, including compact fluorescent lamp (CFLs) and LED lamps for general lighting. In the U.S., this will occur by 2014. This conversion has fueled an LED lighting market forecast of $3B in 2012 and $8B by 2015.

The “green” revolution, however, extends beyond lighting into transportation and other energy arenas. By 2020, approximately 25% of all new vehicles will be electric, rising to 90% by 2030. By 2050, solar energy is expected to provide 11% of global electricity.

Universal offers a unique value proposition for this new era with the most extensive range of technologies - designed with market-focused capabilities - and exclusive process knowledge to afford its customers the highest level of competitive advantage. This versatility is an important distinction for “green” production built around multiple-technology applications and a powerful enabler for Universal’s success in these new environments.

Universal’s product and competency roadmaps across the company’s entire portfolio contributed to the successful year and delivered noteworthy results. The Generation 88 Through-Hole product lineup, which features SSL-specific machine configurations, attained a 25% gain in SSL market sales versus 2010 with more than 50% of total sales into that segment. However, emerging markets were not solely responsible for Universal’s success in 2011. The company’s Advanced Packaging solutions, including the GenesisSC Platform and the Innova Die Handler, boasted a record year in sales to customers across a range of markets to eclipse 2010 by nearly 50%. Universal introduced the Advantis 3® Surface Mount platform in April and gained 25% in midrange market sales versus the prior year while acquiring nearly 30 new Tier 2/3 customers. The Advantis Platform family continues its evolution with the exciting introduction of an LED-specific configuration later this year.

Universal Instruments is a global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced automation and assembly equipment solutions for the electronics manufacturing industry. Universal provides complete assembly lines to EMS Providers, ODMs and electronics assemblers around the world, leveraging its portfolio of compatible and flexible equipment platforms that address the diverse requirements of high-speed chip and multifunction placement applications as well as component insertion. Universal Instruments is headquartered in Binghamton, with offices in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

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