Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Non-conventional" industry breaks 2008

It won’t be long before that bearded guy in the red suit will be making his annual appearance and right behind him that little kid in the diapers that welcomes the new year. You’ll pardon me if I protest that it seems like yesterday when they showed up last year, my how time flies.

I just finished my PowerPoint for the late January "Marketplace for Lasers & Photonics" meeting in San Francisco (www.marketplaceseminar.com) and have been making a last review of the numbers. Each year I cut it closer and closer to the deadline for submission of this file as I massage the final 3rd quarter numbers that continue to come in. For example, I've received changes in the financials of companies that suffered losses as a result of the flooding in Thailand, II-VI Corp. was one of the more notable ones.

As a little Christmas gift, I’ll give you a hint of what will be disclosed in my forthcoming report in 2011. Sales revenues for industrial lasers (almost $2 billion) and systems (more than $7 billion) broke the 2008 records by 11%, wiping out the losses of the recession a year ahead of what the industry expected.

Historically, since 1970, the year I date as the beginning of industrial laser sales, more than a half million lasers have been sold – valued at close to $22 billion – which were integrated into systems worth more than $75 billion – for a CAGR of 17%. Not bad for an industry that was labeled, in it’s early years, as "non-conventional" by statisticians. In fact, last time I looked, laser machines represented about 10% of total world machine tool sales.

And as I will report in the new year, even with some cooling-off in the markets, industrial lasers and systems should grow another 5% in 2012

So, Happy Holidays to all and see you in 2012.