Business Report

Record results in all key figures

August 2021

In the fiscal year ended June 2021 (FY2021), we achieved record results in all key figures (sales, profits, orders, and order backlog). We made significant growth during Phase 3 of our medium-term business plan by taking advantage of a favorable business environment where leading-edge IC fabs started to adopt EUV lithography as demand for semiconductors increased in a broader range of applications.

Results of FY2021

Business growth was driven by the strong sales of products that address the need of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography as semiconductor fabs began adopting EUV lithography in earnest for leading-edge production lines. This is against a background of the widespread use of remote work and online meetings in the COVID-19 pandemic. It has increased the demand for personal computers and the need for servers at data centers, which is a key infrastructure of communications and data processing. In the area of mobile communications, the number of mobile phones and facilities for the 5th generation mobile communication system (5G) is increasing. Since these applications use leading-edge semiconductors, chipmakers have been aggressively increasing investments. Our business environment has continued to be very good because of these factors.

Under these circumstances, our net sales in FY2021 totaled 70,248 million yen (up 65.0% year-on-year). We recorded 26,074 million yen in operating income (up 73.1% year-on-year), 26,438 million yen in ordinary income (up 74.9% year-on-year), and 19,250 million yen in net income attributable to owners of parent (up 77.9% year-on-year). Orders received during FY2021 totaled 112,904 million yen (up 40.8% year-on-year) and order backlog at the end of FY2021 amounted to 135,819 million yen (up 45.8% year-on-year). All of these results have renewed our records.

Completion of Phase 3 *1 of Medium-Term Business Plan

Phase 3 was a period when we began to harvest a crop in some businesses and saw other businesses sprouting. We have been promoting EUV-related products and wafer-related products as our new business for some time, and both of them started to make significant contributions to business growth in this period. From the final year of Phase 2 to the final year of Phase 3, we have succeeded in increasing net sales 3.3 times larger and operating profits 4.6 times larger. This rapid growth was mainly driven by the robust sales of MATRICS X8ULTRA, a mask inspection system capable of inspecting both EUV mask and DUV mask, which enjoyed very good reputation among leading-edge logic device makers and DRAM memory makers.

Looking back on Phase 3 in terms of new product release, which is an important indicator for us, we launched a new product every year as shown below.

Date of Release New Product
November 2018 MAGICS M9650/M9651 Mask Blanks Inspection and Review System
September 2019 ACTIS A150 Actinic EUV Patterned Mask Inspection System
January 2020 OPTELICS HYBRID+ Hybrid Laser Microscope
June 2021 MZ100 Mask Edge Inspection System

MAGICS Series has been recognized as a de facto standard tool of mask blank inspection and review in the industry for many years. We will further contribute to enhancing the quality of EUV blanks and DUV blanks with the latest model of the series, M9650/M9651.

ACTIS A150 Actinic EUV Patterned Mask Inspection System is the world's first EUV mask inspection system using EUV light for inspection. EUV mask inspection has hitherto been conducted mainly with MATRICS X8ULTRA, which uses DUV light, but as the scaling of semiconductor design proceeds further, ACTIS A150 is expected to be widely used among customers because of its higher sensitivity and the ability to detect printable defects unique to EUV masks. We expect that this product will make a large contribution to our financial results.

MZ100 Mask Edge Inspection System is a new type of product that is designed to inspect the mask edge, for which defect control has not been available until now. This product is expected to contribute to yield improvement and quality enhancement in EUV and DUV mask production. It exemplifies our ceaseless effort to sincerely address customer needs and offer unique solutions.

OPTELICS HYBRID+ is the latest model of our hybrid laser microscopes. Our laser microscopes have been widely used among various industry customers for R&D and quality assurance. The target market of this new model is a niche in the R&D stage where microscopes are used for inspection and in the production process where special inspection tools are required. It supports smooth transition from R&D to the production process with the enhanced functions of automated transfer, automated measurement, and automated inspection.

In addition to these products, we have prototypes that have not been publicly released. All of them are developed to meet specific customer requests. I think we are approaching a step closer to becoming a company that is "the first point of contact for worldwide customers searching for solutions."

Phase 3+ *2 starts from FY2022

We call the 3-year period from this fiscal year (FY2022) "Phase 3+ (plus)" because we will step up the efforts we have been engaged in since Phase 3. We will focus on strengthening our corporate infrastructure to meet customer needs in order to capture growth opportunities in the medium to long term.

The primary market of our business is the semiconductor industry where our customers are aggressively making investments to meet strong demand amid semiconductor shortages. As I mentioned earlier, business growth is driven by strong demand for high-performance computing (HPC), which is used on servers at data centers to support remote work and online meetings, and for 5G. Semiconductors are also used to enable artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), and various other applications, and demand is expected to keep growing in the coming years. Furthermore, due to heightening concerns about geopolitical risks amid escalating US-China frictions, there are rising interests among the United States, European Union, and Japan in attracting manufacturers to construct semiconductor fabs in their territory and there are arguments for subsidies in this regard. Semiconductor device makers have so far concentrated their investments on a limited number of countries, but they are expected to spread investments over various countries in the future. As investments spread, the number of equipment and the total spending will increase, and this is a positive thing for the business of semiconductor equipment suppliers. Besides, building a leading-edge semiconductor process costs more than it used to, and this also has a positive effect on our business since we focus on the leading-edge area.

In this business environment, our challenge is to meet difficult customer requests and keep up with the pace of investment growth. In this regard, it is necessary to make our R&D and product installation capabilities, supply chain, and global service infrastructure stronger. "Strengthen corporate infrastructure" is the most important item of our action plan for Phase 3+.

On the other hand, new businesses and new products are crucial for achieving sustainable growth. In this respect, "Pursue growth opportunities" continues to be our action. We have successfully created new businesses by using our microscope business as a marketing tool to find new business opportunities in various industries. Examples of success are SICA88 SiC Wafer Inspection and Review System and ECCS B310 Electro-Chemical Reaction Visualizing Confocal System (the latter system enables the observation and measurement of electrochemical reactions occurring inside lithium-ion batteries). We will not only pursue opportunities in our current mainstream business of mask blank/mask inspection but also keep looking for new areas of business and new applications for products where we can contribute to society effectively with our strengths so that we can achieve further growth.

Message to shareholders

We had record results for five consecutive years thanks to your continued support. To express the challenge facing us in Phase 3+, which starts from this fiscal year, in a simple phrase, we are in a "dilemma of business growth." We have good growth opportunities since new businesses are beginning to sprout and bloom under a favorable business environment, but our organization is not fully prepared for reaping all opportunities to produce results. We will accelerate the effort to hire and nurture good talent in Japan and abroad and build a much stronger organization during Phase 3+ so that we can achieve growth that meets the expectations of shareholders. I ask for your continued support and cooperation. Thank you.

President, Lasertec Corporation

  • Notes
  • 1.July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021
  • 2.July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024