Outlook 2022:

VAT expects the trend of accelerated investments in semiconductor manufacturing equipment to continue in 2022. Demand growth is also expected in displays, solar photovoltaic and several industrial end markets of VAT.

Therefore, VAT expects higher net sales*, EBITDA, EBITDA margin, net income and free cash flow in 2022 compared with 2021.

2022 expected to be another year of strong growth

VAT expects the trend of accelerated investments in semiconductor manufacturing equipment to continue in 2022 and expects to further capitalize on its leading market position.

In displays, investments in OLED screens are expected to grow while investments in LCDs are forecast to remain flat. However, based on display orders received for delivery in 2022, VAT expects overall display sales to grow compared with 2021. In solar PV, the market is expected to grow in the low teens.

Forecasts for general vacuum equipment sales in industrial markets point to continued growth, especially in molecular diagnostics related to the COVID pandemic. In addition, demand from the industrial coatings, automotive and the tooling businesses is expected to grow further in 2022.

VAT expects the market for its Global Service business to continue to grow in 2022 as semiconductor manufacturers continue to invest in both new capacity and in upgrading their existing vacuum equipment assets.

On this basis, VAT expects net sales in 2022 to be higher than in 2021. VAT will also continue to build its flexible global footprint and strengthen its natural hedge against foreign exchange impacts by further ramping up its production facility in Malaysia, increasing sourcing from best-cost countries, gaining greater economies of scale in global supply chains and driving further operational excellence measures. At the same time, VAT remains dedicated to technology innovation. Investments in research, development and productivity improvements will therefore remain at the heart of VAT’s strategy in 2022.

Furthermore, the company expects its EBITDA and EBITDA margin to increase, driven by higher volumes and better cost absorption as well as the ongoing focus on costs. Because of expected higher sales, EBITDA, and EBITDA margin, VAT also expects 2022 net income to increase compared with 2021.

The stronger operational performance is expected to again drive higher free cash flow in 2022, despite the investments in Malaysia, the innovation center in Switzerland and ongoing production improvements in VAT’s production hub in Switzerland. For 2022, capex is expected to be CHF 65–70 million.

* At constant foreign exchange rates

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