Outlook for 2022

Outlook for 2022

Play to strengths, seize opportunities.

The Comet Group has entered 2022 with significant momentum. Our customers continue to place their trust in us and have given us new opportunities. The Group is focused, and is financially and structurally more robust than ever before. With more flexible and leaner processes, an invigorated corporate culture and a high order backlog, Comet is well-placed to leverage the potential of growing digitalization. At the same time, it is equipped to successfully counter macroeconomic risks.

“Robust, flexible, alert – Comet is well-placed to seize its market opportunities, address risks and continue on its growth trajectory.”

Kevin Crofton

CEO of the Comet Group

Strong market growth expected

The outlook in Comet’s core markets is bright. The long-term drivers for the semiconductor and electronics market, which is Comet’s primary focus, are intact. Artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, autonomous driving, and new technological developments and processes in microchip production will fuel demand for semiconductors, and thus for our plasma and x-ray solutions, in 2022 and beyond. The already strong long-term demand is currently further boosted by the shortage of memory chips.

Comet is also witnessing various degrees of recovery in the automotive, aerospace and security – driven by the pent up demand reflecting the current aging of vehicles in use, the increasing replacement of internal combustion vehicles with electric ones and increasing air travel. This will have a positive impact especially on demand for x-ray inspection solutions for non-destructive testing.

For Comet, 2022 will therefore be about expanding its capacity and adapting to the growing needs of its customers, controlling its supply chains, and remaining ready to deliver, all while balancing macro-economic risks.

Macroeconomic imponderables

Political, economic and public health developments worldwide remain difficult to predict in 2022. As the Omicron variant has shown, COVID-19 will remain a fixture in 2022. Pitted against expectations of stronger growth of the global economy are inflation fears. How quickly will central banks reduce monetary stimulus? What will governments do with regards to trade restrictions? Among the biggest challenges continue to be supply chain bottlenecks and rising logistics and energy costs. The extent of the recovery in global demand will thus depend on many factors.

On a positive note, over the past year, the industry has learned to deal with supply shortages, whether by using alternative compatible components, finding hidden stock in its supply chains, or staggering the introduction of product feature sets, dual sourcing, etc. These innovative responses and others will continue throughout 2022 and potentially open new opportunities for Comet to further satisfy our customers.

Michael Kammerer (President, Plasma Control Technologies), Kevin Crofton (CEO and interim President, X-Ray Systems), Elisabeth Pataki (CFO), Keighley Peters (CIO), Stephan Haferl (President, X-Ray Modules)
Exploiting growth opportunities, managing risks

Comet has the financial and organizational strength and flexibility to continue to invest in innovation in this environment, remain a reliable partner to its customers and manage the macroeconomic risks. The corporate strategy, centered on growth, efficiency and culture, will therefore continue to be vigorously implemented in 2022. It will be complemented by substantial investment in IT, data security and digitalization.

Protecting employee health, in ways that are flexibly tailored to local circumstances, remains very important in the face of the coronavirus. Having overcome the upstream supply challenges effectively in 2021, the Comet teams will continue to focus on the close management of the supply chains in 2022. The overarching priority is to be able to reliably fulfill the wishes of our customers at all times.

Another important task on the corporate agenda for 2022 is the further development of the ESG program launched last year, particularly by setting sustainability goals and targets for the company.

Comet aspires to be a place where dedicated, talented people can develop their potential and make new things happen. The initiatives underway in the areas of culture, learning and talent management will therefore be continued and built upon in 2022.

Full pipeline of opportunities in all divisions

Plasma Control Technologies – Managing the division’s growth in the semiconductor market: Given the enduring strong demand from the semiconductor industry, the focus of the Plasma Control Technologies division in 2022 is on maintaining flexibility, responsiveness and delivery readiness for its customers. The aim is to further optimize production capacity, quality and delivery times – further ramping up the mass production of impedance matching networks at the new site in Malaysia and building the San Jose location into the dedicated new-product introduction site for new matching network development. In Asia the aim will be to serve even more customers from the Asia Design Center in Korea.

“As a team and in close collaboration with our customers and suppliers, I am confident, we will master the challenges of 2022.”

Kevin Crofton

CEO of the Comet Group

The most pivotal project in terms of future impact remains the work on a Comet RF power subsystem for the semiconductor industry. In addition to the generator, it involves launching a new match controller and improved vacuum capacitors to provide customers with the best results. After successful beta testing of the new generator in 2021, customers can expect the advanced solutions in 2022.

X-Ray Systems – Realignment and new services: In 2022, IXS will continue its realignment and further advance the modular standardization and strengthening of the product portfolio – for example, with new offerings such as the UX50 system – and of the software platform. Following early successes with workflows based on artificial intelligence, more digital services will be offered to customers. An important driver of future growth is the further successful collaboration with leading manufacturers of advanced packages in the Asian semiconductor market. Here, the division intends to build on its initial successes and add to its offering.

X-Ray Modules – Bolstering the offering for electronics, semiconductors, batteries and high-end CT: The positive sentiment in the traditional non-destructive testing business in the automotive, aerospace, oil and gas markets provides good conditions for a successful 2022 for the X-Ray Modules division. The division’s main focus will therefore be on the vigorous marketing of its newly launched products and on enlarging its offering for the examination of electronics, semiconductors and batteries and for high-end computed tomography.

What’s next for our Executive Committee team members?

“I’m really excited for our ability to transform into an international mindset.”

Lisa Pataki

CFO of the Comet Group

“I want us to be a place where really successful people want to work.”

Kevin Crofton

CEO of the Comet Group

“Let’s go digital!”

Keighley Peters

CIO of the Comet Group

“We’re in the middle of what’s next and enjoying the ride.”

Stephan Haferl

President of the IXM division

“At Comet we want to stay ahead of the curve.”

Michael Kammerer

President of the PCT division