AZ Electronic Posts Profit on iPad, Mobile-Phone Compounds

AZ Electronic Materials SA (AZEM), a maker of chemicals for flat-panel television sets that sold shares to the public in October, posted a first-half profit as it sold more compounds used in mobile phones and Apple Inc.’s iPad.

Net income was $40.9 million, or 10.7 cents per share, for the period ending June 30, compared with a loss of $321.4 million, or 151.9 cents, a year earlier, when AZ had higher financing costs associated with its private-equity ownership, the Luxembourg-based company said today in a statement. Sales increased 22 percent to $391.8 million.

“We’re seeing strong growth in the memory that fuels the iPads and the mobile displays,” Chief Executive Officer Geoff Wild said in a telephone interview. “We are gaining market share and additional layers and applications for our materials faster than any slowdown in the market.”

About 80 percent of AZ’s sales come from Asia, and the company expects demand for its chemicals, which are used to produce flash memory, microprocessors and hard disk drives, to increase in countries such as Japan and South Korea even amid uncertainty over global growth, Wild said.

AZ may spend as much as $25 million on research and development for the second half of the year, about the same as during the past six months, and will return $15 million to shareholders with its first dividend in October, Wild said.

Shares advanced as much as 10 percent to 232.6 pence and traded at 231.7 pence at 9:58 a.m. in London, giving the company a market value of 882.6 million pounds ($1.5 billion).

To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Mead in London at cmead11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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