AT&S to sell medtech PCB factory in South Korea

Janet Kang, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AT&S

Advanced Technologies & Solutions (AT&S), an Austria-based PCB and IC substrate manufacturer, has announced plans to sell its plant in Ansan, South Korea, which largely services the medical industry.

The plant sale aims to further sharpen the group's profile, according to AT&S, which now considers AI as a significant growth driver for future business success. For the fiscal year 2023-2024, AT&S's Ansan facility brought in EUR76 million (US$82.3 million) in revenue, with EUR38 million in EBITDA.

AT&S will now request binding offers in light of the substantial interest in the transaction and the non-binding offers it has secured. In the upcoming months, the company's management board will make further decisions based on the situations that emerge, according to a statement from the company.

In addition, in light of the prevailing unstable market conditions, AT&S's management board has decided to postpone the execution of a capital increase at this time. In light of the current difficult market conditions and ongoing investment initiatives, the board intends to present a proposal at the company's annual shareholder meeting on July 4. This proposal, contingent upon the approval of the supervision board, will refrain from paying dividends for the fiscal year 2023-2024.

Challenging FY2023/24

AT&S encountered a challenging market environment during the fiscal year 2023-2024, as evidenced by its revenue decline of 13% annually to EUR1.55 billion. EBITDA also experienced a decline of 26% for the fiscal year, plunging from EUR417 million to EUR307 million.

"We see AT&S return to growth in the new financial year 2024/25," said AT&S CEO Andreas Gerstenmayer. "The general market recovery expected in our industry for the second half of the financial year 2024/25 should also have a positive effect on demand and, consequently, utilization of our existing plants."

"Business growth will be supported by the ramp-up of high-volume production at our two new plants in Kulim and Leoben at the end of the financial year," Gerstenmayer continued. "This will help us to further advance the initiated diversification of the customer portfolio for IC substrates and to address additional applications in the fields of data management and AI."

AT&S expects to generate revenue in the range of EUR1.7 billion to EUR1.8 billion in the fiscal year 2024-2025. The adjusted EBITDA margin is forecast to range between 25% and 27%, excluding the effects of the start-up of the new production capacity in Kulim and Leoben, which are estimated to cost around EUR80 million.

FY2026/27 outlook

AT&S will grow with AI, as stated by Gerstenmayer. "We also supply the right technology for AI, from substrates for AI processors to efficient energy management solutions for IT infrastructure such as servers and data centers."

AT&S is also a sought-after technology partner for on-device AI, where devices such as smartphones and notebooks are equipped with AI functionalities. In this field, AMD became a new customer, and according to Gerstenmayer, three other well-known US technology clients have also decided to focus on AI solutions and use AT&S technology.

Nevertheless, AT&S had to adjust its guidance for the fiscal year 2026-2027 in response to the most recent market forecasts. AT&S now anticipates sales of roughly EUR3.1 billion in the fiscal year with an EBITDA margin of 27% to 32%. This prediction excludes potential revenue from AT&S' second plant in Kulim.