Display and semiconductor equipment maker YEST, which suffered a sharp decline following its rapid sales growth, conservatively announced its sales target for this year. It is expected to generate sales of 100 billion won, which sits between their 2017 sales (150.4 billion won) and last year's sales (92.7 billion won).
A YEST official said on the 20th, "There was a big difference between the actual sales and the guidance presented at the time of last year. Accordingly, we approached this year’s sales target conservatively. And we did not reflect the large-scale investment factors of the downstream industry players. The perfect turnaround will be next year."
The equipment industry will follow the orders from semiconductor manufacturers and display panel makers in the downstream industries. The industry expects that the recession of the display equipment industry, so-called "order cliff", will be lessened from the second half of this year. "The demand for photomasks has been increasing since the second half of last year. The demand for masks goes a little ahead of the industries," an official in the mask industry said.
The photomask used in the display and semiconductor exposure process increases the amount used in the development stage. When a pattern is laid on a blank mask, it becomes a photomask. Then the demand is reduced at the stage of mass production using multiple photomasks of the same after the development stage.
The downstream projects that YEST expects are Samsung Electronics' large-size OLED (QD-OLED) and Samsung Electro-Mechanic's panel-level package (PLP). YEST's main display equipment is Autoclave, and its semiconductor equipment is Pressure Cure. Both devices are used to remove air bubbles in the film after the lamination process. A pressure cure is a device that adds curing function to the autoclave.
Autoclave equipment was the driving force behind YEST's 2017 sales growth. The company supplied the autoclave exclusively to the post-production Vietnam plant of Samsung Display's A3 plant (OLED), generating sales of approximately 70 billion won. At that time, it accounted for the majority of sales of display devices worth 95 billion won.
Based on its experience as a supplier to Samsung Display, YEST has been evaluating equipment for Samsung Electro-Mechanic's PLP business. Lee Yoon-Tae, CEO of Samsung Electro-Mechanics, answered, "We am doing well" to the PLP-related question at the 46th regular shareholders' meeting. Samsung Electro-Mechanic is believed to make its PLP business investment soon.