Member's news

Pure Wafer in profit after transformational year

Computer chip recycling company Pure Wafer has enjoyed a return to profit after a year which saw the Swansea-based business cut its costs and run at record production rates.

The firm recovered from a loss of £430,000 to record a pre-tax profit of £1.8m in the year ending June 30.

Pure Wafer chairman Stephen Boyd said: "The last financial year has been a transformational one for Pure Wafer and I am delighted to report very encouraging results which move the company firmly back into pre-tax profit.

"The forecast global growth in the semi-conductor industry was in evidence during the period, enabling Pure Wafer to enjoy increasing and sustained demand for its wafer reclaim services across all geographical areas in which we trade and across all sectors of the industry."

The business raised £4.6m in November last year through a successful share placing which allowed it to repay its asset funders including Lloyds, GE and CIT in full as well as partially repaying RBS and Citizens Bank.

It also managed to save more than £600,000 through discounts and fee waivers.

In the last 12 months Pure Wafer has seen its manufacturing costs fall by 4%.

The firm's solar business suffered a significant reduction in revenues which it put down to indecision by central Government over the feed-in-tariff and an influx of below cost Chinese imports.

Mr Boyd said the company's sites in Swansea and Arizona have been running at record levels of productivity.

Pure Wafer chief executive Peter Harrington said the business will benefit from the growing popularity of hand-held computer devices such as tablets.

He added: "With the world's insatiable appetite for faster, multi-functional hand held devices, especially from the heavily populated new and emerging economies, industry analysts are forecasting continued growth through to 2015 and beyond.

"The numbers are quite phenomenal when you look at the sales of these things.

"Its not just the US and Europe, its the emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and Russia.

"Everyone wants to be able to put their hands in their pocket and be in communication with the rest of the world through handheld devices.

"That is where this explosion in demand is coming from.

"Our major customers have committed and completed substantial new investment in 300mm silicon chip manufacturing facilities amounting to tens of billions of US Dollars, demonstrating their own confidence in sustainable market growth.

"These new manufacturing facilities give rise to further, very substantial wafer reclaim opportunities both currently and in the future and support our confidence in the exciting long term growth prospects for Pure Wafer and upon which our strategy of increasing capacity is based."

Pure Wafer was launched in 2000 and opened its factory in Swansea in 2001.

The business provides work for around 130 people in Swansea and around 110 people at its site in Arizona.

Mr Harrington said: "The labour force in Swansea is very loyal.

"That was proven in the down turn in 2009 where everyone joined together to ensure that we saved the business.

"It (the number of staff at Pure Wafer in Swansea) is increasing at the moment.

"Over the last three to four years we have been building it up slowly.

"We've started putting new equipment on the floor that in turn will create more jobs and more opportunities with both shop floor staff and technical people."