The overarching goal of AT&S is to continue our sustainable profitable growth course and create added value for all involved – our customers, shareholders, employees and the company. By 2025/26 we plan to generate approximately € 3.5 billion in revenues through strategic business expansion with the recently announced investments, operational excellence, outstanding customer service and strong innovation culture. We continue to pursue our technology leadership strategy and set the highest quality standards in our industry. We set ambitious ESG goals to guide us on the way there.
The ongoing trend towards digitalisation, connectivity and smart applications continues to drive the increase of data to be stored, processed and transmitted, thus further increasing the demand for AT&S interconnection solutions. With these solutions, we continue to hold top positions in our target markets, fostered by our deep understanding of the underlying applications, high level of manufacturing expertise and industrialisation of new technologies. AT&S will take advantage of new business opportunities to continue to grow faster than the market in the future. We also expect a steady increase in profitability. Our strategic investments in the expansion of our performance in key technologies support this growth strategy. The long-term corporate goals of AT&S reflect these growth ambitions in profitable market segments and applications.
VISION AND STRATEGIC GOALS
We aspire to be the first choice for our customers in our market segment based on top performance – for high-end printed circuit boards and IC substrates, for advanced packaging technologies and the corresponding system and interconnect solutions. Our growth strategy follows the vision “First choice for advanced solutions”. On our path to implementation, we are guided by four strategic goals:
Expansion of technology leadership
We strive to be the leading provider of advanced interconnect solutions. To achieve this, we aim for a Vitality Index of >20%. Our strategic implementation focuses on the development and industrialisation of new technology platforms and on strengthening our role as a proactive development partner for our customers. AT&S constantly improves the toolbox, with high-end printed circuit boards, IC substrates and embedding technology and continuously expands the service offer beyond production of printed circuit boards and IC substrates to IC package design, manufacturing, system integration and test. Thus, AT&S is transforming from a contract manufacturer to a proactive interconnect solution provider.
Creation of shareholder value
AT&S is progressively expanding its capabilities, which is connected to high investments. Nevertheless, we are focused on maintaining a high level of value creation for our shareholders. In the upcoming years we expect the interest on the capital employed by our shareholders (ROCE) to achieve mid-term level of >12%. The return on capital employed thus exceeds the weighted average cost of capital of comparable companies. At the same time, we are pursuing a transparent dividend policy based on investment cycles and profit for the year.
Sustainable profitable growth
We strive to generate approximately € 3.5 billion by the financial year 2025/26, aiming for an EBITDA margin in the range of 27% to 32%. Strategic implementation of this ambitious goal is supported by the following levers:
a) Customer orientation and highest service level:
We support our customers by providing technical advice as well as additional design, simulation and testing services in order to enable the optimum interconnect solution.
b) Operational excellence:
In our processes, we focus on efficiency, productivity with highest capacity utilisation and a competitive cost structure. In doing so, we are also prepared for particularly complex and individual manufacturing requirements in different lot sizes in premium quality.
c) Focus on fast-growing and profitable applications:
We concentrate on technologically advanced applications with disproportionately high market growth and solid EBITDA margin potential.
d) Focus on cash flow generation and optimisation of the financing structure:
We strengthen our internal financing power for further investment cycles by maintaining our key figures at a high level: we aim for an equity ratio of >30% and a net debt to EBITDA ratio of <3.
We will only be able to expand our technology leadership and achieve sustainable profitable growth if our actions are value-based and we generate added value for all stakeholder groups. Compliance with high standards in the areas of ethics, working conditions, health and safety, environment and quality are fundamental requirements on the road to success. The Responsible Business Alliance, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs) and our company values serve as our compass.
Our strategic focus areas are derived from the above, as are the AT&S materiality analysis, customer requirements and global developments in environmental and social matters.
One of the strengths of AT&S is that the company understands its customers’ challenges and develops customised interconnect solutions in partnership with them early on. This is an ability we will maintain and expand on in the future. In this context, AT&S is increasingly focusing on combining the possibilities of the core business with new technologies.
To achieve targeted growth, we drive our business based on the following four strategic fields of action:
1. Expansion of the core business
AT&S is strengthening its core competence in the area of high-end printed circuit boards and IC substrates and is continuing to develop its business in the existing market segments. Here the market promises solid growth.
2. Diversification of the customer and application portfolios
AT&S uses proven technologies to implement innovative solutions for other (groups of) customers and applications, thus extending the life cycle of existing technologies and expanding its earnings base.
3. Proactive product development
AT&S intensifies its collaboration with customers during early development phases and develops innovative solutions for specific customer requirements by combining the core capabilities with new technologies.
4. Industrialising new technologies
AT&S drives the development of new technology platforms and broadens its positioning in the value chain, among other things through new solutions for the module business. AT&S thus generates additional revenue and increases its leading edge over competitors.
Driven by increasing digitalisation, the number of connected things and the requirements in terms of data processing, transmission and storage are also growing. We serve the applications required with our systems and interconnect solutions, which enable the generation of sustainable, profitable growth.
This boosts, among other things, the business of data centresand cloud computing applications. For AT&S this developmentoffers significant growth opportunities in the field of IC substrates for server and network applications. The required performance and computing power of the processors lead to massively growing technological requirements on IC substrates.
At the same time, the digitalisation trend drives the growing need for computing performance in end devices (edge computing), which opens up interesting opportunities for AT&S in terms of profitable growth in the printed circuit board business in all market segments.
The increasing need for miniaturisation and functional integration further boosts the modularisation trend. This means, more functionalities are covered within one sub-system by single or multiple chips or chiplets connected with each other. To address this need technology companies require advanced interconnect solutions, covering everything – from motherboard to module substrate to assembly and testing. This creates further opportunities for AT&S in the field of services and solutions.
As progress in semiconductor development approaches the end of Moore’s Law, increases in performance coupled with further miniaturisation require the support of advanced approaches to system integration. As a result, packaging is gaining in importance and increasingly determining the performance of the overall system. Ensuring miniaturisation capabilities while maintaining high signal quality by high speed and low loss interconnections is an integral part of this key element, making the significance of IC substrates in this system even higher. This on the one hand drives demand for advanced IC substrates and high-end printed circuit boards, and on the other hand importance of advanced packaging technologies development and of integration service.
A constant trend away from a monolithic silicon solution – system on chip – and towards a disaggregated one, using so-called chiplets to leverage advantages of the various integrated circuit technologies within one miniaturised system, known as heterogeneous integration is gaining speed. Heterogeneous integration means connection of multiple chiplets, often produced using different technologies, into one system. This requires not only connection from the chip to PCB, but also the interconnection of the chiplets.
While there are many different ways to realise such connection, the dominant ones involve IC substrates. The substrates become larger and more complex, to accommodate all different interconnections needed. Thus heterogeneous packaging further drives increasing value-based growth in substrates and making them a more important part of the final integrated circuit.
The key competencies of AT&S lie in high-end PCB and IC substrates technologies. These two fields remain the focus of our business. While in high-end PCBs we are leveraging scale effects and focusing on profitability, the IC substrates field is currently in the strong growth phase, where we focus on the capacity expansion. Driven by the market and technology trends, AT&S addresses heterogeneous integration and modularisation with IC substrates and substrates like PCBs for modules in various market segments.
AT&S continuously evaluates growing opportunities within attractive markets. In addition to our strategic focus on our two main product groups – high-end PCB mainboards and IC substrates, we are gradually marketing embedded die/ECP technology and evaluating the further expansion of our technology portfolio in advanced electronics packaging. Though our market share is not yet substantial in this field, this segment is particularly promising, as the value of packaging in the overall electronics is increasing.
Mainboards and substrate-like PCBs
- Focus on profitability and high-end applications
- Leveraging modularisation trend
- Technology leadership
- Customer diversification
- Capacity and capability expansion through recently announced major investments
- Utilising window of opportunity and main market drivers